#1 Edited by The Poet (8336 posts) - - Show Bio

Hello and welcome to the very first edition of the Writers Guild in 2014!

It's a lot of presure to be the very first writers to write something this year for the guild, but we had two wonderful writers who were up to the challenge!

First up is @impurestcheese and Patron Saint of Crime #6!

Warehouse just off Route 54, El Paso, Texas

Siwang sat in the back seat of the black Jeep Cherokee as it came to a stop outside a warehouse complex boarded by a fortified electric fence. “Okay Ladies and Gentlemen we’re here.” The driver mumbled as Montague opened the left hand rear door and allowed the other passenger; a beautiful raven haired woman dressed in a matching grey suit and trousers got out. Next to her and ‘Romeo’ Siwang felt under dressed in a pair of blue jeans and a green t-shirt even if she had an entire quiver of spears slung over her shoulder and an atlatal attached to each wrist.

“This is Bochanegra’s compound?” She asked as the Driver slid out and popped the boot to reveal a pair of MAC-10 Machine Pistols clipped to a case.

“No this belongs to Layton King, Bochanegra’s animal guy.” Montague explained as the woman took the MAC-10s and slid an ammo clip into the weapons. “He sells exotic pets, zoo specimens and parts for medicine to people all over the world. We've been sent to pick him up because he’s not answering the phone and the silent alarm was triggered. Rumor is that there’s a sniper looking to cause trouble for our employer.”

“Please that’s just a rumor.” The woman purred as she threw an M21 to Montague. “Besides Romeo you are one of the best sharpshooters on the continent.”

“That’s Juliet my girlfriend and partner.” Montague sighed as he detached the scope from the M21. “Juliet that’s Siwang.” He added pointing to Siwang as she helped herself to a 40mm Milkor Stopper Grenade Launcher. “Or do you prefer Patron Saint of Crime?”

“Layton King.” Siwang stated ignoring Montague’s question. “How long has he been active in the animal trade business?”

“Almost Thirty years.” Montague answered, “If you’re looking for a pet you can ask him when he’s in the car.” He added as the three enforcers walked to the door. “Clay stay with the car and keep a lookout. Something doesn't smell right in here.” He instructed the driver as he closed the boot, a light machine gun slung over his shoulder. “Okay people let’s go hunting.” He mumbled as Juliet punched in the code and the door swung open.

As they got inside the first thing that struck Siwang was the reek of hay and animal feces. Advancing down the first row of cages she noted how uncomfortable the animals looked and how hungry. Between the pack of timber wolves, shackled sloth bear and the board looking Persian leopard she felt unnerved, if the animals got out then they were in big trouble. She was so preoccupied by the caged predators that she almost took one step too far and tumbled into a pit recessed into the ground, her fall prevented by Montague’s quick reflexes.

“Easy Psi.” He warned. “Keep your head here and now.” He added as he let her go and she peered over the edge to see a pair of komodo dragons sleeping on the concrete floor of the pit. “I hate coming here, what happens in this place isn’t right.”

“You really want to cross swords with Bochanegra on this?” Juliet asked as she walked over to one of the cages and rattled the bars, the noise causing the tethered Red Kites inside to scream noisily. “If we don’t exploit the resources King provides somebody else will.”

“We can discuss this later.” Montague growled. “There’s an operations center on the second floor. I’ll set up my sniper’s perch there and see if I can find King. You two head towards the back door and see if anyone’s tampered with the security system back there, see if we can trace where the alarm was tripped.” He added as he shot the komodo dragons in the pit a glance before heading to a reinforced office and stair case to the left on the entrance.

“Come on girlfriend.” Juliet purred in a cold voice, “Let’s go.” She added before stalking off away from the office down another row of cages. Siwang looked back at Montague before turning and following her ‘new friend’ towards the back of the warehouse. After they had traveled a fair distance from the dragon pit Juliet turned and slammed ‘the Saint’ into one of the cage fronts before pulling a knife and holding it against Siwang’s throat.

“Listen up because I’m only going to say this once.” She hissed as the puma in the cage stirred slightly in its sleep. “Romeo or Montague or whatever you call him is mine and only mine. You so much as think of sleeping with him, kissing him even hugging him then you and I are going to have a problem.” She warned before bringing the knife low and slashing Siwang’s wrists open. “If you do we’ll see how well you can fire a crossbow with no hands. You get me?” She asked as the puma stretched and begun to pace up to the bars.

“I’m not interested in him.” Siwang hissed back.

“You’re a liar. All the girls say that.” Juliet snarled. “In time you’ll get to ask them.” She added before stepping back and allowing Siwang to move out of the puma’s reach.

“I’d like to see you try.” Siwang snarled back. “Until then we have work to do.” She added as she pushed past Juliet and headed for the staircase heading down at the end of the aisle. Heading down and then left into the tunnel lined with terrariums the pair stopped five tanks from the entrance as Siwang peered into the enclosure at the large black insects buzzing around a few broken chunks of driftwood. “Are those tarantula hawk wasps?” She asked as Juliet looked in before knocking on the glass.

“Yeah, those things are pretty common up in Arizona.” Juliet answered as she peeled a clip board containing an invoice off the side of the tank and stuffed it into Siwang’s hand. “They were meant to be shipped to a Mr. Kravinoff in Montenegro.”

“Soko got his wasp venom from King.” Siwang mumbled. “And that means King was involved in his operations in Kosovo.”

“Soko so you know that old ghost story.” Juliet snorted, “My uncle smuggled in weapons to Islamic Bandits in the hills during the Kosovo conflict. They spoke of ‘the Falcon’ a sniper so deadly that no man could survive when his gaze fell upon them.”

“He’s real and in El Paso.” Siwang replied before a scream rang out from down the corridor. Both the women looked at each other before thundering down the tunnel towards the noise and into an area with an open pool with an overlooking gantry. Suspended from the roof was a hook dangling a few feet over the water with a bespectacled man dressed in slacks and a wife beater flailing just above the surface, his legs shackled to a submerged concrete pillar.

“Mr King are you alright?” Juliet called as Siwang looked over the edge and withdrew swiftly as a seven foot long shark swam past.

“Please help me!” King yelled. “He tied me to the veterinary post where we do checkups on the sharks. I’ll need to be unhooked before you can lift me up with the crane. And if you can avoid damaging those bull sharks, they are meant to be shipped out to Macau tomorrow morning.”

“Can you swim?” Juliet asked Siwang before kicking her onto a half submerged walkway in the shark pool. “Doesn’t matter,” She added, “You unhook him and I’ll work the crane.” She added as she climbed up the ladder onto the gantry. Siwang pushed herself up before looking at the trail of blood mixing with the water. “Oh no.” She gasped as the first of the bull sharks swung around and headed towards her. With a quick flick of her wrists Siwang launched the spear already loaded in the atlatal, the projectile stabbing into the shark and causing a river of blood to stream out. “Oh s~!t.” She swore as the four remaining sharks homed in on the dying fish and begun to rip it apart. Edging along the path she reached Layton just as a second bull shark headed her way before receiving a spear to the snout.

“Unhook my quickly!” King screamed as a third shark broke away and circle lazily around towards the two humans in the pool. Pulling out a spear Siwang got ready and jabbed at the shark, the point smacking it on the nose and causing the shark to break off the attack. “He told me that I was no longer needed.”

“Soko right?” Siwang grunted as she thrust at another inquisitive bull shark, the point snapping off on the shark’s flank. Removing the hook she shot Juliet a thumbs up and the crane begun to pull King up leaving Siwang in the water with three blood crazed sharks. This time the attack came from two directions at once, the first received a smack to the snout but the second struck from behind knocking her off the walkway into deeper water. Heaving herself back onto the walkway ‘the Saint’ heard three shots ring out and looked up to see a man standing in the tunnel back upstairs clutching a sniper rifle.

“Typical,” The man spat in an Eastern European accent, “my father gets credit for my work.” He snarled before locking onto Siwang’s head. “Still as long as Boccanegra gets the message we’re trying to send him I don’t mind that a dying man gets blamed for this.”

And up next we have @knightofthechronicle with the Chapter Five of Chronicles of Argus!

Chapter Five

"Mr. A"

A group of men walk casually down the empty boardwalk, making almost no noise except when the man in the center says something; a joke or a comment about the rides or the stands that they pass. The sun sets red along the horizon.

A body drops in front of them out of nowhere.

"You're getting sloppy, Ares." Argus says from on top of a burger stand, "I found your man at the gate smoking. It's not like you to leave your men so out in the open."

The group opens up to reveal a large man in a suit, smiling up at Argus.

"It's been a while, my old friend," he says. "How did the underworld treat you?"

"It was cold."

"So my men say," Ares says, motioning to the men around him. "They're ghosts, in case you can't tell. "Hades owed me a favor…he apparently owed Hera too."

Argus jumps down from the stand. "I have not seen my lady in some time. What are you doing here, Ares?"

Ares' smile widens and he snaps his fingers. The ghosts disappear into the ground.

"War isn't just happening in the Middle East," he says matter-of-factly. "This place, for instance, is fully of it. Turf war, gangs going after each other, brother killing brother, I haven't had this much fun here since the Civil War."

"So why go after Johnny Nyles?" Argus asks, circling the god.

Ares shrugs his shoulders, "It was getting too quiet around here and I was bored. Nothing cures that better than putting a little money on some poor losers head. What does it matter to you?"

"Johnny's daughter came into my protection when her father had to leave the city."

Ares fakes a grimace, "Casualties of war, Argus. Last time I checked you were one too-"

With incredible speed Argus goes to slap Ares only to have it caught in mid-air by the still grinning Ares.

"Now, now, Argus," Ares wags his finger, "there's no way you can survive a fight with the god of war."

Argus yanks his hand away but swallows his anger. "The girl's been through too much for someone her age, Ares. She's not made for the things of our world. Clearly you can see that."

Ares studies Argus for a moment, his smile fading. "You've changed. You actually…care for people now."

"Who I care for doesn't matter to you. Take the bounty off of Nyles' head before the child's life is cut short."

Ares pops his neck, looking more like a business man now instead of a mobster. "Done."

"Thank you," Argus says, turning to walk away.

"However…" Ares continues, making Argus stop in his steps. "No deal is done just one-sided."

Argus looks back at the god. "What do you want?"

Ares' smile returns to his face, "It's quite obvious that Hera isn't your patron anymore. From now on, you work for me."

End of Story 1

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#2 Posted by The Poet (8336 posts) - - Show Bio
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#3 Edited by knightofthechronicle (689 posts) - - Show Bio

Woohoo!

#4 Edited by cbishop (8214 posts) - - Show Bio

@impurestcheese, @knightofthechronicle: I have to tell you two, if I could just read Patron Saint of Crime and Chronicles of Argus every week, I would not get tired of this. The stories are great on their own, but they make for an excellent pairing. I'm always pleased to see you two pop up here.

Imp', you've got an enviable knowledge of some unique things that make your stories very cool. Siwang feels just the right amount of dangerous.

Knight', your stories feel kind of similar in tone to Imp's, but somehow a little more superhero-y...that's probably the mythology angle. A couple of minor things: I think you meant for Ares to say that Hades owed him a favor, not that Ares owed Ares a favor. And this line:

"War isn't just happening in the Middle East," he says matter-of-factly. "This place, for instance, is fully of it.

Was that supposed to be "full" of it? ...See? Nothing big.

Both of you: the chapters always feel too short. Not because they're actually short, but because I always want to read more. Great reads. :)

EDIT: Oh yeah...Added to my FF Long Box. :)

#5 Posted by knightofthechronicle (689 posts) - - Show Bio

@cbishop: Yeah, Poet fixed the "Ares" and "Hades" mix up. I didn't notice the "fully" part though. I guess I was rushing too much to finish this.

#6 Posted by ImpurestCheese (5100 posts) - - Show Bio

@knightofthechronicle: Time will present it to yourself if your patient. Love the fact that you portrayed Ares as a gangster. I suppose he takes on elements of the war he's in so a gang culture would turn him into a gangster I suppose. And now the Watchman of Io is working for the God of War. I smell godly carnage coming very soon.

#7 Posted by knightofthechronicle (689 posts) - - Show Bio

@impurestcheese: Unfortunately this story's being put on hold. I've decided to start a new series for the Writer's Guild next time around that I think people will really enjoy, less action and more mystery. Don't worry though, Argus will be back.

#8 Posted by cbishop (8214 posts) - - Show Bio
#9 Posted by ImpurestCheese (5100 posts) - - Show Bio
#10 Posted by knightofthechronicle (689 posts) - - Show Bio
#11 Posted by ImpurestCheese (5100 posts) - - Show Bio
#12 Posted by knightofthechronicle (689 posts) - - Show Bio

@impurestcheese: sorry. I'll at least tell you that the new series is going to be called "Let it Rain".

#13 Posted by ImpurestCheese (5100 posts) - - Show Bio
#15 Posted by cbishop (8214 posts) - - Show Bio
#16 Posted by knightofthechronicle (689 posts) - - Show Bio
#17 Posted by cbishop (8214 posts) - - Show Bio