Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Gunther
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Gunther Captain, Infantry (Retired)

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An alien spacecraft larger than the size of earth’s major cities arrived in orbit around the planet over a month ago. Apparently, several other similar craft assumed a similar geo-stationary orbit over all other major cities around the globe. The Others as the inhabitants of earth have taken to calling the aliens began an assault by waves with the intent of removing the dominant species. The first wave knocked out all the power. Every electronic device on the planet was fried except for those items hardened against electromagnetic pulse (EMP) like military vehicles. Automobiles stopped working, home appliances shut off, time stopped, and all aircraft fell from the sky, killing thousands. The second wave saw mega earthquakes ripping up the ground, devouring small towns and flooding coastal areas, killing millions. The third wave, avian flu carried on the wings of several billion birds infectied the population killing billions. Only a handful of survivors remained. By the fourth wave, the others were among us. With their ability to inhabit human hosts, it became difficult to tell friend from foe. Your neighbor or third grade school teacher could now be one of them.

The reality you have lived with your entire life, regarding the many races of earth; humans, orcs, elves, centaurs, and dwarves has changed. The world you once knew where elves had the fortune to rest atop our social strata has fallen. Now elves inhabit the same social layer as the orcs and every other race on Planet earth…or do they? Can the arrival of an alien race wipe out two millennia of racial bigotry? The orcs have often suffered the indignities as the dregs of society to the humans and elves; now forced to survive with them, to defend them and maybe even die for them. Only a fraction of the population has remained; less than one percent of the world’s population—fewer than seventy million inhabitants across the planet. They are all at risk of suffering a mass genocide of not one group or race, but all races co-existing on the planet.

This is the Bright Wave!


Seth Vutaro survived the first three waves and has learned first hand that the others have inhabited several orc, elven or human hosts. He has been fired upon by the others and has lost the apability to trust. Seth is an orc who spent three years in the United States Army, an organization that learned to surpass the binds of racial intolerance. While in the Army, he felt at parity with his Elven and Human brothers but returning to Granby and the greater Central City region of the state reminded him that society as a whole has a long way to go. He experienced those old tired prejudices he remembered from before his time in the military. He was relegated to pounding spikes for the railroad with other orcs who became like family too; all of whom could not survive to the fourth wave like he did.

He lost everyone he knew when the EMP, earthquakes and avian flu hit the population. His friends and family were all dead. He managed to get his hands on an M4 Carbine formerly owned by a soldier of the Army National Guard along with a slightly used US Army issue MOLLE backpack to contain all his worldly possessions, taking to the wilderness to survive. Recently, Seth has taken up with a dwarf named, Thalis Boulderman who worked the coal mines in the southern region of the state and a human from Minnesota named, Joe Anderson who had once been a truck driver. The three formed an uncomfortable trio, not knowing if they could truly trust one another. Two thousand years of hated and racial bigotry can be difficult to erase but being forced to work together in order to survive is a good start.

Seth is forced to put aside what he knew before the alien spacecraft arrived around earth. He MUST trust these people because the one thread that kept them together was, the notion this planet was their home, not the aliens everyone has taken to calling the Others. He hated what the Others had done more than he hated Humans, Elves or Dwarves.

He may have felt as though he did not have the same opportunities of the Humans and Elves, but they weren’t outwardly killing his family and friends like the Others have done. Now, Seth feels alone. Everyone he knew died over the past month. His new existence has forced him to kill to survive and is forced to rely on this dwarf and human in order to carry on. Seth knows humans, dwarves, orcs and elves have been possessed by Others somehow and taken to killing inhabitants of earth. He wonders often, how can we tell the difference between those possessed by the Others and those who are one of us? This has now become the bane of survivors everywhere across the planet. Seth feels as long as his traveling companions do not betray him or worse, then he MUST trust them regardless of his gut feelings.

Seth secretly carries a special weapon he will not reveal to just anyone. It is a wand, formerly owned by a Bright Elf. The elf did not survive the Avian flu. Understanding the power of the wand, a nuclear missile that grants wishes; he will not reveal its existence until he finds someone capable of wielding. Most Brights are elves, so he feels he must overcome the stereotypes of those indignant individuals he has learned to hate. But seeing as he is learning to live with Dwarves and humans, he is at least willing to give an elf the benefit of the doubt. Before handing the wand over to just anyone he must learn two things. First, is the elf possessed by one of the Others? And Second is this Bright Elf he may meet someone who he will get along with? It would be devastating to Seth Vutaro if he handed over the wand and then the bright elf used it to kill him. This dilemma is something he dwells on often. He knows he cannot trust his current traveling companions with its existence. In a sense, he if fighting to enable The Bright Wave to fight against the Others rather to finish off the inhabitants of the planet.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by nightmare medx
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It was quiet out here in the woods.

Sina was used to the quiet murmurs and quickly averted stares. She was used to the hustle and bustle of the party life, too. Elves did like a party.

But this quiet she was still getting used to.

They had killed off countless everything- elves, humans, orcs, dwarves, sentient, non-sentient, they didn't seem to care. Whoever they were. They were not from here; had never been seen. But they were down here and not just in their massive ships now, that was certain.

What they looked like was not certain. Whatever it was, the Others could possess.

She did what she could. Found a man, saved him and his family- he seemed surprised that she could fight, and that she would fight for something other than an elf- and it had snowballed from there. Ace Remington, his family, more random strangers: some human, some orc, one elf, now all crowded into a house in the woods.

Sina waited patiently. They would send another because they knew they were here. They would need to move, soon, but for now, Sina waited. She had found camouflage to dress in, hiding in the woods to wait for another Silencer.

She didn't enjoy killing them, but it had to be done.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Gunther
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The unlikely trio of survivors walked slowly through the Southern Indiana forest. They left home and Central City behind. Seth took point, keeping an eye out for anyone who might be lurking in the forest trying to kill them. They learned to avoid the open areas. Many Others had taken over people trained in shooting long distance; hunters, Marine snipers or Olympic caliber shooters. The Others would find hiding spots near highways, major roadways, open tracts of farmland or wherever they could find clear lines of fire out to 800 meters or more. Others were deadly accurate with their hunting rifles, leaving corpses littering Interstates 65 and 69 as well as the numerous other state routes. The group considered heading north to Indianapolis, but discarded that idea realizing the Others had probably already cleared out the major population centers and garrisoned the to prevent the native population from re-entering these areas.

Seth spent time training his new friends in the US Army’s techniques, tactics and procedures (TTP) for patrolling. They used hand and arm signals to communicate with one another. In fact, Thalis Boulderman, coal miner-turned soldier taught the group how to communicate using American Sign Language. They often communicated silently this way in order to be as quiet as possible. Joe Anderson covered the rear as the small group moved stealthily through what may have been a State Park or State Forest. The tree covered terrain was measured from 100 to 900 feet in elevation. Ferns, oak scrub and juniper bushes plugged the undergrowth. Pine, Oak, maple, birch and beech trees covered the hills. An occasional open space would appear where trees had been removed to allow for farmland a few centuries ago. Seth and company avoided these open patches of ground as they hiked the hills of Southern Indiana.

The three stopped occasionally to survey the land in front of them, especially when they were standing on high ground. A farmhouse of Colonial design with a large wrap around porch, white in color stood at the far end of a large cattle pasture. Cornfields bordered the pastures to the north and south of the open farmlands. A large red barn, possibly containing hay and stalls for horses and cows stood several feet to the east of the farm house with an attached grain silo. Various farming equipment parked around the house and barnyard. Seth noticed the cattle grazing in the pasture first. This sight sent up a red flag, a warning so to speak.

In sign language the three survivors carried on a conversation. “See the cows?” Seth asked Thalis and Joe. Both nodded. “If there are cows, then there must be people here to care for them, right?”

“Sounds reasonable,” Thalis answered. “But are they Others?”

“Right, how do we know?” Seth sat there staring at the cows and the farm house in the distance in frustration. Then he resolved to be daring, “we cannot hide from everyone!” He pounded his fist into his hand in exclamation. “We must trust someone! Give them a chance to prove they can be trusted!” The clouds had slowly darkened rolling in over the region. Small drops of rain began to fall on the Midwestern farmland. Seth looked up at the sky thinking, ‘damn. Infantry weather.’

Joe Anderson saw the reason in Seth’s position. After all, he was the one who argued in favor of finding other survivors before they left Central City. “I say let’s go find out who lives there,” Joe responded.

“Your going to get us all killed,” Thalis interjected. He watched the other two to see if they would change their idea. No one said anything. They just stared back at him with that blank expression saying, ‘We are right and you are wrong, so you better join us.’ “I guess I have no choice. Just be careful,” he signed in frustration.

The three made their way closer to the wood line and followed the terrain along the south side of the pasture about fifty yards inside the forest. They kept their eye on the farmland while watching the hills around them and every tree they could see. They continued to search for an ambush or a sniper just waiting to pick them off. They were all alert for danger could be lurking behind any and every tree. Any sign of movement, they would slow down and investigate as though it were a platoon of Others just waiting to kill them. Survival was a challenge these days and they intended to do the best they could. For all they knew they could be walking right into crosshairs on their way to discern who lived at the farm.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by nightmare medx
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All was quiet, and then, it was not.

The wind rustling the leaves in the trees made a certain sound. Footsteps broke the pattern. Unlikely as it was she hoped it turned out to be survivors- otherwise it meant the Silencers had come. Sina let her eyes sweep the land, turning her head this way and that to figure out where the footsteps were coming from.

There.

Three men in the distance: one dwarf, one human, one orc. Armed, from the looks of it. She was not as well armed today; it was too late to worry about that now.

She couldn’t decide what their intentions were. Usually the ones the Others sent were alone or paired off, but maybe they were adding on a third to ensure at least one of them came back this time.

It wasn’t wise to stay here much longer.

At the same time, they needed the farm to keep going.

Sina did not dwell on such things at the moment. The moment at hand was what was important.

If these men were Others, they were an unusual sort. They didn’t usually gesture so much with their hands, but Sina supposed there must be some variation somewhere. She was about to throw a spell to send them in another direction, get the game started, figure out what they really wanted, when she heard another noise.

A gun.

A bullet through the air.

It lodged in a tree near the men. Bad aim or a sadistic preview?

Somewhere up the slope, someone had fired. Sina didn’t move. Whoever it was hadn’t seen her yet, which gave her an advantage.

She apologized to the men, silently, in her head, because if one or more of them died at least it wasn’t one of the people she had said she would help take care of. Ideally no one would die but the Silencer. Unless it was a ruse, and they were all Silencers.

Eledan was not going to be happy if she died today. Or at all, really. He was an elf and as such did not appreciate having to go out and defend humans and orcs and a half-breed like Sina.

But, as she always told herself, it could be worse.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Gunther
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Fear…the underlying emotion driving all activity. Seth felt it and so did his companions. His head constantly on a swivel, he saw everything. He was prepared for anything. The fear only made his senses more aware. Caution lead to sustainability.

BANG!

The report of a rifle in the distance was unmistakable. The SNAP of the round striking the tree not eight inches to his left was equally identifiable. Call it instinct, call it training. The former Airborne Ranger dove for cover. His two companions mimicked the orc’s actions believing the man they called, Vick knew what he was doing.

“What was that?” Joe asked in a shouted whisper.

“A bullet,” Seth responded in a normal tone of voice. It didn’t matter if anyone knew they were there or could hear them. They were compromised. Sound discipline was irrelevant. “Did either of you see a shooter?”

“No,” came the chorused response. Of course, they didn’t see a shooter. No one ever does.

Seth craned his neck around the tree he was hiding behind searching the bark for the bullet strike. He located the impact roughly five or six feet up the tree. He then looked in the direction from where the bullet came. He spied a dark grove of pines just to the left of a white Birch tree. “You see that birch up there about four hundred yards away?”

Both the dwarf and the human eyeballed the hill in the direction Seth was pointing. They shook their heads in affirmation, “yea.”

“Just to the left is a group of pines. The trees provide decent concealment because of their dark color.” Seth looked up the hill. “I’ll bet you a beer, our shooter is in that grove of trees.” He allowed the two men to focus on that point. Maybe they would see some movement. “I want you two to shoot at that area, whether you see anything or not. Put out one round about every 3-5 seconds. I just want you to keep him pinned down, so he won’t shoot at me as I rush up the hill.” Seth looked back at Thalis Joe, “you got that?”

“Yea, Vick. We got it.”

“Oh yea, could you please try not to shoot me?”

The two smiled at one another and gave him a queer look.

Seth wasn’t sure about these guys but would have to trust them now. ‘Will I get shot in the back or in the front today?’ “Keep calm and aim. Count the seconds down. I’d rather you conserve your ammo as best you can. You can start shooting now.” He uttered that last point matter of fact like just to get them to do something. Fear was retarding their actions also.

Joe picked up his rifle, aimed at the tight grouping of trees. He slowly pulled the trigger to the rear, discharging a round up the hill. Thalis followed suit placing a round in the same area roughly two seconds later. “When you see me near that group of trees, stop shooting and come join me!”

Seth, gripped his carbine, shouldered the stock, peered along the top of the weapon and charged forward through the ferns. ‘I’m up, I’m moving, I’m down.’ The words rang off in his head as he rushed forward. They allowed him a three second run. That was all the time he would allow the other to get a shot off at him; three seconds. Once on the ground, he listened to the reports from Thalis and Joe. He looked around at the terrain; the underbrush, the trees, the insects, the birds flying away, the smells of the earth and whether or not the other sent any return fire. He consumed another three seconds taking in these sights, sounds and smells then rolled away. He was back on his feet, rushing forward. He moved for three to five seconds and hit the ground again. Seth continued to repeat the process alternating between rolling left or right so as to not be a predictable target and only giving his threat a few seconds get a bead on him, if he were still there.

On Seth’s twelfth rush, he dove for cover behind a rock and found himself staring at an unarmed pale faced elf with long bronze hair, pointed ears and bright green eyes. Seth jumped in surprise as soon as he landed, rolling back and fighting to bring his carbine around to her. He brought the carbine to bear on her from the ground then realized she was no threat. She appeared frightened. Seth brought a finger up to his lips as if to gesture to the elf to remain silent. He pointed up the hill then gestured for her to stay there. Then he rolled away and charged back up the hill.

Although, his breathing was beginning to quicken, and perspiration beaded up on his bluish grey flesh, Seth felt more alive than ever running up the hill. His muscles were warm and solid. He felt the strength surging through him. He was confident he would be able to reach his objective quickly. The sound of Thalis and Joe’s gunfire kept him focused in the right direction.

‘Who was that elf?’ The thought unnerved him. ‘Where the hell did she come from? Was she with the shooter? I hope I don’t get shot by her. I hope she remains after we investigate this shooter.’ Seth continued his slow and steady advance up the hill—rushing, diving for cover, rolling away from where he landed and repeating the process, stopping no more than a second or two at each cover.

After two minutes of rushing, diving and rushing again, he heard another rifle shot from higher on the hill than expected. ‘It wasn’t the darkened trees, like I thought.’ It was more to the right of the Birch. “Stop shooting! Stop Shooting!” Seth yelled down the hill hoping Joe and Thalis would hear him. They did stop shooting. ‘I guess I owe those assholes a beer.’

Seth peered over the underbrush from behind his cover. He thought he detected movement near a fallen log roughly thirty yards up and to the right of the white birch tree. He brought his carbine up to his shoulder again and fired three rounds in succession towards the fallen tree. He stood up, charged the remaining hundred and fifty yards to where he saw the movement pulling the trigger every five or six steps. He saw the muzzle burst right in front of him. Fear hastened in his heart pumping more adrenaline into his veins. Luck was with him today. The bulletd grazed his left shoulder leaving a three-inch abrasion, ripping up flesh and sinews. This only caused Seth to increase the tempo of his shots. “Thank the Gods for thirty round magazines.” As he got closer, he found what appeared to be an old man, human, maybe 65 years of age with a bullet hole in the center of his forehead. Sure, it was an unaimed shot, but it is tough to aim when someone is shooting at you. Seth made sure this shooter was nervous and hopefully unable to get a shot off. Yes, Seth was scared the entire time, but his training and experience from his time in the army kicked in, telling him to keep going even though common sense said he should have run away. He was certain his traveling companions would have left. He couldn’t do that. After all, this old man and those like him were the enemy.

“Get up here!” Seth yelled down the hill. “That means you too, elf lady!” Seth looked back in the direction where he found the elf. “Joe, there’s a young elf woman between her. Bring her up here with you!” Seth pulled the magazine from his carbine’s well. He looked inside. There was one bullet left. He inserted a new magazine from his ammo pouch. Then he inspected the wound on his left shoulder and scanned the area to see if anyone was approaching them. They did make a hell of a loud racket.
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Bullet.

Gunfire.

Today would not be an easy day. Sina kept her breath steady and slow even as she heard the projectiles whisking through the air off to the side. She shifted, ready to move if she had to but not moving just yet. Let them shoot each other, so long as the bullets didn't start flying in her direction.

As soon as that thought was in her head she found herself staring down the barrel of a gun.

At least the man holding it looked as surprised as she did. Was he shushing her? He was. She was not a child. She watched his movements and nodded at the conclusion. She would stay, silent.

Thinking.

He was an Orc. No one liked Orcs except Orcs, usually. But, these were trying times, and the reasons for not liking Orcs were ridiculous, anyways. Stereotypes and culture clash were the problem, not the Orcs. But that was a study for another time, a time that would hopefully come again.

He was an Orc, but he was not an Other.

She would have been shot on sight if he was.

Hm.

The gunfire ceased and there was a voice from up above.

"Bring her up here with you!"

Sina could bring herself up the hill just fine, thank you very much, and that she did. She had paced through the trees, waiting, waiting, waiting for the Silencers to show up on many days and nights before and knew the trees and their configuration like the back of her hand. She made it to the patch of woods before the man's companions.

"Who are you and why are you here?"

She had no time for chit chat.

Sina stared down at the corpse. He shouldn't have died. The Others should never have come to their Earth. But that was the hand they had been dealt.

It took some time, but eventually they heard a voice coming up the hill behind Sina.

"Vick? I know you said bring the elf woman up, but we can't seem to find her."
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Seth was surprised to see the elf woman work her way up the hill on her own, the way she did. Most people were unaccustomed to the sound of gunfire, with the possibility of dying at any moment, tending to freeze in place; stricken with fear. Obviously fear of gunfire or maybe death(?) was not an issue with this one.

“Hey! Grab my ruck while you’re down there!” Seth yelled down the hill. He had dropped his backpack before making his mad dash, complete with combat rolls up the hill. It was an exhausting effort, but he was able to silence the sniper. It would have been nice to not kill the old man, but with the Others’ techniques, it was a necessary end; otherwise we let them win. For them to win, it meant death for everyone else. Seth was not prepared to face that reality. He was a fighter and would not go down until he was put down or left free from these dangers and oppression.

When the elf woman reached him, she did not appear out of breath. Obviously, she was in decent shape. That makes her useful. But then, out of shape and over weight earthlings fell victim to the Others rather quickly. There were no overweight survivors.

"Who are you and why are you here?" the woman asked the stocky 70-inch orc.

“Well, I guess I could ask the same question of you, m’lady,” Seth Vutaro smiled, stating with a hint of sarcasm. The m’lady comment referenced the now irrelevant social strata an elf would occupy in the old world.

Old world.

The sound of the term was difficult to get accustomed to. It had only been a few months since they arrived and things were very different now. “Pardon me. My name is Seth Vutaro, but most people call me Vick. I assume you are not one of them? My associates and I are survivors, looking to improve our way in this world.” Vick or Seth, depending on how you would refer to him thrust a thumb over his shoulder in the direction of the now deceased sniper. “…and hopefully root out some of the Others as we encounter them. I doubt this man ever intended to shoot at you or me, but he doesn’t have a choice anymore and the thing inhabiting him gave us no choice but to kill him. It is a sad lot in life. But those are the conditions of this new world we must all adapt to.”

“How about you tell me who you are and what you are doing here,” Seth spoke to the woman, not in a question, just that it was her turn.

Before the elf could answer, he heard the comment from below, "Vick? I know you said bring the elf woman up, but we can't seem to find her."

“Forget about it, Joe!” Seth called down. “She’s up here with me. Get my pack and beat feet!”

“All right, all right! Don’t get your knickers in a twist.” The three spoke to one another as though killing this Other-possessed human was a common event. Unfortunately, it had become a way of life since leaving Central City. Seth wanted to teach the dwarf and human how to advance together without leaving someone at the starting point. In time, he would share that small unit tactical information with them as well as have them practice it. For now, he would continue using what techniques they knew as a group and continue to improve as they went along. If their party grew in size, he might find himself with people who either knew how to soldier or not, like the pair he had been saddled with. They were consuming ammunition too rapidly. They would need to find more and soon.

As Seth waited for Joe and Thalis to make their way up the hill, he turned back to the elf woman. “So, what is your name and how did get out in these woods alone with no gear? Are you lost?” His carbine was slung over his shoulder and around his neck. It dangled under his right arm. He waved his arms around when he mentioned the phrase, ‘out in these woods’.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by nightmare medx
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Sina did not flinch when he called her m’lady. She had never personally disliked orcs, finding their blunt honesty refreshing. Years of pretense made it difficult, but she tried to adopt a similar mindset. It was far better than the elven way- if someone didn’t like you, you would never be told. Everything was done behind your back. You knew about it, of course, but not directly.

“My name is Sina. Why do they call you Vick if your name is Seth?”

It was not the most important question (she called the elf Élan when his name was Éledan, after all), but it bought her time and, more importantly, substance to decide what she thought of them.

She looked over at the man. “No, I am not lost, nor am I one of them. I know you are not one of the Others because you would have shot me by now if you were. This is the fourth one they have sent.”

She gestured in the direction of the farm house. “If you are intending to improve your way in the world by raiding us, I would suggest you leave now. I’ve been in the woods to keep watch for any threats. I don’t know if you are one or not.”

If he was one and managed to get to the house, Élan would take care of it, or one of the orcs would. If not, maybe this was a sign that it was time to move. The Silencers had known where they were for some time now (Sina figured they must have known, or else they wouldn’t keep sending them); it was only a matter of when they would send more than they could handle here.
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