To boost our readership on the fan-fic board, several other writers and I decided to set up a weekly showcase, filled with fresh and interesting stories. This week's contributions came from @impurestcheese, @tommythehitman, and myself. For each of the following weeks we will try to bring in even more new stories from our very talented staff. If you wish to help us you can either sign up here or simply comment on any of the weekly entries; even the smallest amount of input would be greatly appreciated.
So without further ado, lets read some stories!
The Patron Saint of Crime #1 - On the Outside… by @impurestcheese
The characters and events that inspired this story can be found in Character Creation Contest 13 under the Impurest Cheese Spoiler Heading or at this link
Any similarity to any people, places or events alive or dead is strictly coincidental.
IS10 North of El Paso, Texas
Officer Grady stood the other side of the yellow crime tape next to his partner. He watched as the paramedics tentatively loaded the stretcher carrying Officer Gomez into the ambulance, a black feathered arrow sticking out of his chest. Gomez, a traffic officer, had been in halfway through a routine traffic stop when he had been targeted just like several police officers, the only difference was that Gomez while victimized by a figure known as Siwang the Patron Saint of Crime, was still alive unlike the others.
"I really hate that bitch." Detective Gillian West spat as the CSI team moved in and begun to process the spot in front of the cruiser where Gomez had been shot and the tire tracks as well as the cruiser itself. "From what I hear the FBI are just itching to take the case off of our hands in a few days but I seriously want to find this Siwang and put a bullet through her head. I don't care what connections she has to the almighty even if she is a 'saint'."
"Death is too easy for people like her." Grady told her, "Lock her in a cage and let her suffer, that is the worst possible punishment for her."
As he finished his phone chirped and he cleared the screen to see a text marked with a tiny picture of a crucifix. "Sorry Gill, that's Gretchen she still hasn't figured out not to call me at work."
"So when am I going to meet your new 'girlfriend'?" West asked in a mischievous voice.
"Never, considering how you have a tendency to scare off the women in my life." Grady answered. "Hey Branson," He called to the head CSI, a grey bearded man with a fat gut that was barely held in by a plaid shirt that screamed redneck especially when combined with his worn blue jeans, "I'm heading back to the station do you want me to take Gomez's Cruiser back with me?"
"Sure, take it away. We think we have a snapped arrow here, it might help us locate where the shooter has been." Branson called back in his usual North Dakota drawl.
"Gill stay here and make sure they recover the arrow correctly. I want to know the second they get DNA, fingerprints or even what type of wood it's made of," Grady told her, his voice rising in frustration with each word.
"Okay James but maybe I should drive back. They say not to get behind the wheel when you're angry." West suggested as one of the CSI techs threw Detective Grady the keys to the police cruiser.
"We're all angry because of Siwang. I'm just not that good at hiding it." James told her as he got in the car and waited for the tape to be lifted. "Gomez could have been killed by this lunatic and unlike the others he had a wife and kids. This killing spree has gone on long enough."
Downtown El Paso
Grady stopped at the lights and heard something move in the trunk of the car before releasing the catch and seeing an oriental woman dressed in a green tank top and purple trousers with the word 'luck' written down the side in pseudo Mandarin symbols open the boot and jump out to land feet first on the road behind the car. Opening the door he waited for her to dust herself off before driving off with his hitchhiker now riding shotgun in the cruiser.
"Do I even want to know why the hell you tagged Gomez?" Grady asked his passenger.
"He pulled over Julian Ross, one of Bochanegra's illegal fight coordinators. Ross was transporting the earnings from the ring in Mesquite when Gomez caught him speeding. I had been following Ross on my bike and decided that he would be my way into a meeting with Bochanegra himself." Siwang answered. "I ditched my bike after shooting Gomez and then came back to check on him only to see you arrive. I hid and then texted you to take the cruiser because quite frankly I don't trust the driving skills of your CSIs. Also Gretchen, is that the best name you could come up with?"
"I was stressed, mostly because my half sister shot an officer with a hand-bow and had hidden in the boot of a car that was about to be searched. And about the shooting, you missed the first shot and they found one of your arrows. There still looking for the head but when they do they might have a lead to the 'church'." Grady warned her, "I thought you were a good shot."
"I am." Siwang answered smugly, "The first shot tagged Gomez with a mixture of tranquilizers and blood coagulant. The second hit Ross's Mercedes, embedding an isotope marker into the body work. If Bochanegra won't invite me in then I will just crash the party, as we speak the 'acolytes' are working on the location, analysing security and getting me a list of possible entry points." she informed Grady.
"Well listen I think you should just wait…" He turned to check on his passenger only to see that she had vanished, "How the hell do you do that?" he asked before turning back to the road and slamming the brakes on as he coasted up to the next red light, the radiator smoking. "Damm it Branson is not going to be happy about this."
The Church, Under Altura Park
Siwang slipped down the well of the sunken Spanish Mission quietly and confidently before hitting the bottom with a light splash as the water rippled around her. Blindly she pressed a small indent in the rock and closed her eyes as the emergency lighting came on and illuminated a small alcove in the pack with a door set in the rock. Squeezing in Siwang pushed it open and emerged into a room filled with wires and cables crisscrossing the floor to the numerous computer stations and monitor screens. Shaking herself dry she crossed the floor to where a dark skinned man sat dressed in slacks and a T-Shirt eating chips while watching a loading bar move across the screen.
"You know there is a door." He muttered, "You don't have to use the well every time you come home."
"I know." Siwang answered, "One day I will surprise you and use the door. So Vance how's the tracker I placed on Ross's Mercedes?"
"Stopped outside the headquarters for El Cascavel, a street gang that runs interference for Bochanegra." Vance answered, "So you can expect lots of guns and knives in there if you decide to pay them a visit."
"If?" Siwang said with surprise. "As my first 'kill' and my head acolyte Vance you really should no me better."
"Yeah stupid thing to say really." Vance stated, "That last guy you 'killed' Zimmerman or something like that is still in a coma. I guess we should count that as a blessing, the rest of us signed up for this undercover operation but he was a free lance idiot that found the wrong target at the wrong time."
"So who exactly do I talk to arrange a meeting with Bochanegra within El Cascavel?" Siwang asked, eager to change the subject."
"He's called el Poco Hombre, but don't let the name fool you he's six foot one from what Helen observed last week when she went to 'fix their cable'. As such we have a full lay out of the building just to prevent you from getting lost." Vance told her. "Oh and Leon from the armory dropped these off for you, figured that you may want some bang for your act." He added tossing her a belt laden with road-flares and smoke grenades. "He also asked if you want a real firearm this time or if you still want to rely on pre-industrial weapons."
"I am never going to use a gun." Siwang said through gritted teeth. "But the flares and grenades are fine. If you see her before I do thank Helen for the Intel and tell the others to keep an ear out for any fix on Bochanegra."
"Cool I'll get the door for you." Vance told Siwang as she looked up at the section of loose tile on the roof. "So you can walk out through the main…son of a bitch."
He spat as he looked up to see her already climbing up the stone walls before going hand over hand to the lose tiles. Pushing them up she squeezed through the gap and out onto the roof. Seconds later sirens blared as the computer announced that the motion sensors had fired.
With a nervous laugh Vance shut down the sensors before looking back up at the hole, "The day you walk through the door, Siwang, is the day I die."
Here is a special treat to any batman fans out there.
Batman Unbound #1 by @tommythehitman
Batman stood over the dead body of Catwoman. The blood trickled out of the woman's skull and dripped onto the floor. Batman knelt down and closed her eyes before standing up.
"You know. It's a real shame. She was quite the looker." A hard metallic voice said from behind Batman.
"You. I should have known YOU'D do this!"
"Yuk it up Bats. What is this the fifteenth girl you've lost? Why are you acting so surprised?" Deathstroke chuckled before pulling his sword off his back. "So are we fighting or what?"
"No. This is the last time we're EVER going to fight Deathstroke. This is the end for you."
Deathstroke chuckled again.
"Right. Well if you want to prove you've got the balls for it then go ahead!"
"I take it you'll be dodging bullets and rocket launchers again this evening sir?" Alfred Pennyworth asked as he slowly walked down carrying a hot cup of coffee on a tray.
"Alfred. What ever gave you the thought that I was going to give up fighting crime?"
"The fact that you stayed in bed last night, and the night before. Shall I assume Ms Kyle is sleeping with you again?"
Batman reached for the coffee from Alfred's tray before taking a large gulp of it.
"Alfred, it's not like that, okay? We're just friends."
"With benefits, it appears, sir. However, I think someone already made a movie about that."
"You should know, you've already got that in your wardrobe upstairs."
"Ah ha! Sir, your witty banter is something only a true master of the art could've taught you!"
"What makes you think I'm not still learning?"
"Sir. Your computer's buzzing."
Batman spun in his chair and tapped a few keys on the Batcomputer. A video window opened up showing the head of Superman.
"Clark. What's wrong?" Batman asked.
"We've got trouble in Metropolis Bruce. Your kind of trouble."
"Poison Ivy and Clayface are attacking the city?"
"Yes. How did-?"
"They've only recently escaped from Arkham. Everyone else is accounted for."
"Right. So... when can you get here? I've got Aquaman and Flash helping out."
"I'll be there soon."
Batman closed the chat window and stood up.
"Alfred get the Bat Jet ready."
"Yes sir. I'll try to remember to pack the sandwiches this time."
"I'll get drive through..."
Catwoman braced her claws against the side of the window. Slowly, she twisted her hand causing a small circle of the glass to tear away. Catwoman pulled the circle out before placing her hand through the hole and opening the window.
"Easy does it girl," Catwoman muttered as she crept onto the floor. She raised her head slightly as she noticed what she'd came for. Next to Black Mask's vault was his case of rare and exotic Amazon Masks. It was worth a few million on the Black Market, to those dumb enough to buy them at least.
"Puuurrrffeecct." Catwoman said as she reached for the case.
"Get your filthy paws off of that!"
Roman Sionis walked into the room holding a pistol towards Catwoman's back.
"Who hired you? Huh?!" Black Mask asked. He walked over to Catwoman before grabbing the back of her mask. "TELL ME!"
"Hands off." Catwoman said casually before kicking Mask in the balls before smashing the back of her foot into his nose as he keeled over in pain.
"...you... you're gonna pay for that. B*tch!" Black Mask said as he slowly stood back up.
"Funny. I was going to say the same thing." Catwoman said as she picked up the case. "Don't wait up for me."
A group of Black Mask's thugs ran into the room carrying machine guns and shotguns.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! SHOOT HER!"
Catwoman blew a kiss before sprinting out of the window as the bullets started flying.
"...boss... she got away."
"I KNOW GODDAMNIT SAM! Go get me someone to torture! And get Deathstroke on the line! I'm gonna teach that b*tch to mess with Black Mask!"
"Sir? Are you okay?" Alfred asked as Batman walked into the cave carrying Catwoman's body. "You're covered in blood!"
Batman gently placed Catwoman's body on a table before sitting down in his chair.
"Sir? Is... is that?"
"I... I shall leave you alone for a few minutes."
"Sir. Who's blood was it?"
"When you returned from your patrol with Ms Kyle's body you were covered in blood. I take it, it was..."
"No. It was Deathstroke's. I... I killed him."
"It... had to be done."
"Everything's changed Alfred. This has gone too far now."
"So you're going to give up being Batman? Things are worse then ever sir!"
"No. I'm giving up being Bruce Wayne. I'm devoting full time to being Batman. This whole affair has opened my eyes. Criminals NEVER stop! They always come back! Worse and worse each time! How many people has the Joker killed?! No more restraint. No more holding back..."
"NO MORE BRUCE WAYNE!"
Last, but hopefully not least, is a story I started working on for the Star Wars Generation of Terror (SWGOT) fan-fic group. I hope you enjoy it...
SWGOT: Phantom Lords Part 1 by @dngn4774
The characters and events that inspired this story can be found in Character Creation Contest 7 under the dngn4774 Spoiler Heading. I do not own on the Star Wars franchise.
Part one- A Sith is Born
It has been fifteen years since the Treaty of Coruscant. In that time both the Jedi and the Sith have been locked in a Cold War. Three years ago a series of events--largely provoked by the empire--sparked a Second Great Galactic War. Though the Empire had been planning to challenge the Republic, repetitive trends of infighting amongst the Sith Lords inhibited them from successfully repelling the Republic’s forces. This resulted in the loss of several planetary strongholds, thus weakening the Empire’s influence over the galaxy. A consecutive string of victories for the Republic caused several Sith to question the effectiveness of the Dark Council. In fact, one of the most prominent Sith Lords, Darth Verudan had already set plans to dispose of the Council permanently. Along with his acolytes and several close colleagues, Verudan would finally restore order to the Empire.
Verudan first met his newest apprentice in a slaving outpost on the outskirts of Kaas City. Being that the boy was an orphaned slave, his masters felt that the effort of naming him would be trivial task. Though the slavers could not see beyond a frail child, Verudan sensed the boy’s presence from the walls of the city. The young slave was brimming with force sensitivity, even more than the Sith lord had possessed at that age.
When Darth Verudan entered the slaver’s camp he immediately noticed the timid Zabrak crouched in a corner. He grinned maliciously once he noticed that the slave could suppress his connection to the force. The Phantom Lord approached the boy and said “You cannot fool a Sith. Tell me slave, why do you hide your power?”
He shook in terror and hesitated to speak before one of the slavers reached for a whip “I-if I become a Sith I will be taken to another world. I didn’t want to leave my friends.”
Verudan nodded in understanding. “I see…you think if you stay with your friends you can help them, but I’m afraid you’re actually dishonoring them.”
“Dis-dishonoring them?” The slave repeated in bewilderment.
“Whether you stay here or not, your friends are doomed to a life of subservience. You have a greater purpose than this—an opportunity that none of your other friends have—an opportunity that some would risk dying for. The power you possess will allow you to forge your own destiny. Under my tutelage you will be a Sith Lord and one day, perhaps even a Master.” The Sith Lord extended his hand and said “Join me!”
After taking Verudan’s words to heart, the child nodded his head. He grabbed his new master’s arm and began to walk out of the base. A slaver walked over to Verudan to say “My Lord, this slave is too young to be sold!”
Verudan chuckled “What slave?” as he rose his palm over the Slaver’s head “Neither this boy or I have ever been to this encampment. Any files you had on this Zabrak were just clerical errors. Understand?”
“Yes my lord!” The slaver slowly affirmed. The freed child waved to his friends before begin his journey as a Sith’s acolyte.
As the two force-wielders traveled to the loading bay Verudan asked “Do you have any names I can call you besides slave?”
The Zabrak shrugged before deciding on his alias “You can call me Zavron!”
“The name of your slave camp? Very well! Then let us take our leave young Zavron.”
By his 14th year, Zavron was trained in both the light and dark arts of the force. Though his thirst for knowledge was admirable, the true test of Zavron’s skills was yet to come. During a voyage to a distant star system, Darth Verudan led his pupil through the dangerous jungle world of Gamorr. It was there where the acolyte would face his trial by combat.
“I have taught you well Zavron, but there is still far more to learn. Before I can be certain you are worthy of inheriting my techniques, you must prove that you are strong enough to survive under the most vigorous conditions.”
“Of course my Lord,” Zavron replied. “Simply name my task and it shall be done.”
“He will not be giving you tasks. I will!” An anonymous voice declared. Just then a small group of armored men emerged from the tall grass. The squad knelt before a green giant with the face of a boar and limbs as thick as trees.
Verudan cleared his throat to help explain the situation to his student, “These men are Mandalorians and this is Captain Nar’ Grashi. He has agreed to train you in the art of war. You will not return to me until he agrees that your training is complete. Do not use any force techniques other than healing until I return!”
With those final words Darth Verudan vanished from the planet, leaving Zavron at the mercy of Nar’ Grashi. For five years Zavron trained with the Mandalorians, learning to kill with almost any weapon. From the lush jungles of Gamorr to the frozen wastelands of Hoth, Zavron was trained to fight under the most unforgiving conditions, leading to his most important lesson: never surrender. Zavron fought bravely and eventually gained the the dreaded Nar’ Grashi’s respect. As he returned to his master, Verudan sensed that the Mandalorians had obliterated any fears that the boy once held. He was now ready for the final stage of his training.
Following three additional years of training, Zavron was sent to Korriban for his final test as an apprentice. He was given the coordinates to a secret bunker that Verudan had built for his own solitude. Each room hid a piece of a tool he would have to assemble within the final chamber. Though the K’lor’slugs that guarded the chambers were deadly, they posed no real threat to an apprentice of Zavron’s skill level. With a few strikes from his training saber Zavron cleared each room with ease.
In the last room he noticed that there were no creatures to slay. Instead there was only an altar with sunlight shining upon it. The opening far above the altar combined with the red dust of Korriban’s geography made the long streak of sunrays look as if they were bleeding. Zavron approached the altar and laid each piece onto the forge. Using the force, he slowly levitated the pieces together to assemble a red saberstaff. He dropped the weapon into his hands and left the altar.
As soon as Zavron moved his feet off of the tiles a weight trap was triggered and all exits to the chamber closed. The room quaked in tremors as the entire altar sank through the floor. When Zavron rose to his feet he saw three K’lor’Slug Broodmothers slivering towards him. He quickly cloaked himself in the force and lunged behind them, then he pierced one of the slugs through the back killing it instantly. The second broodmother charged at the apprentice as the third prepared to hurl its venom. Zavron used a mind control to trick the advancing broodmother into tackling the other K’lor’slug, forcing it to vomit its poison on the wrong target. The Sith apprentice channeled lightning into his saberstaff to dichotomize the last broodmother with a single strike. The Zabrak dusted himself off and proceeded back to his cruiser. Before entering the starship, the apprentice noticed an incoming message on his holocommunicator. Zavron answered the message as a small, blue hologram of his master greeted him. “How did it go? Did you procure what was needed?”
“Well…I’m not dead!” Zavron sarcastically replied. He raised his new weapon to the phantom to verify his triumph.
“Good! That would have made things boring. You’re going to need that new toy for your true test.” Verudan savored the look of frustration in his pupil’s eyes before pushing even further. “What? Did you really think I’d make it that easy on you?” He snickered. “Meet me at the place where your journey first began. I’ll be waiting!”
On Dromund Kaas
Zavron returned to the slave encampment to acquire his master’s acknowledgment of his progress, but instead he stumbled upon a truly horrific discovery. The entire camp was massacred, including the slavers, women, and children. Hundreds of dead bodies littered the field; each corps reeked of seared blood and cauterized flesh. Despite the many years spent away from the colony, Zavron remembered most of the victim’s faces. Darth Verudan emerged from his apprentice’s old tent and stared into the young man’s eyes. Tears welled from Zavron’s eyes as he asked the only question that he could process at the time. “Why?”
His mentor answered bluntly. “They were a distraction that limited you from reaching your full potential. This loss will make you a stronger Sith. You should thank me!”
“THANK YOU!?” Zavron shouted. “I’LL KILL YOU!!!”
The prodigy roared as he prepared to slice his saberstaff through his master’s chest. Before either end of the blade could touch Verudan he vanished like a ghost and reappeared behind his student. The Phantom Lord grabbed Zavron by the shoulders an channeled a massive lightning bolt through Zavron’s body, that parted the skies. The Zabrak collapsed to the grounded but still clasped onto Verudan’s boots.
“Remarkable!” Darth Verudan noted. “Any of my other apprentices would have died but you continue to fight. You will make a fine Sith!”
He began to heal his student and extended his hand as he did so many years ago.
Zavron smacked his lord’s hand away. “You are insane!”
“Relax boy, I may have pushed you beyond your limits but I never would have considered doing this. The slaves were dead hours before I arrived here.”
“Then who would do this?!” The apprentice demanded to know.
“This was the work of one of my former apprentices, Lord Paros. He is the most ruthless Sith Lord on Dromund Kaas. Paros has been killing any slavers that won’t pay his protection fees; this camp must have refused his extortion.”
Zavron quickly kneeled before his mentor. “Master if what you say is true then I owe you an apoli”--
“Nonsense!” Verudan dismissed. “By striking me you have passed the final test. Tell me Zavron, you were smart enough to know that you had no way of defeating me, so why did you attack?”
“It felt as if there was this dark wave rushing over me. It was telling me to fight back, so I did; and in that moment whether I was defeated or killed seemed irrelevant so long as I could feed that urge.”
“I see…That wave you described is passion. It is the truest feeling of all and the greatest weapon of all Sith. You mustn’t let the passion control you, nor should you try to suppress it. It must be harnessed and used with prudence. Once you master your passion anything is possible. As a Sith your greatest ordeal will be identifying when to use rebel. The Jedi enslave themselves to the force, they restrain their power with words like peace and serenity but the Sith are creatures of passion; we utilize the force to free ourselves. Listen to my words apprentice for they are the words of all Sith:
Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.
You have proven yourself well Zavron from this day forward you are no longer a mere apprentice, you are now a Sith.”
“It is an honor my lord.”
“Your first mission is simple: eliminate Lord Paros by any means necessary.”
“With pleasure master,” the new Sith affirmed. Zavron rose to his feet and headed for Kaas City.
Verudan’s eyes lingered off into the distance. “You can stop hiding. I know you were watching.”
Suddenly, a female Sith Pureblood wielding two lightsabers appeared. This was Phantom Lord Shoust, Verudan’s first apprentice. “Master Verudan” Shoust greeted, as the two Lords exchanged pleasantries.
“What do you think of your new brother?” Verudan inquired.
“He shows potential," she asserted, "but not enough to fight Paros alone."
“That’s why I’ve called you here. I would like you to support Zavron in this mission, but only allow your presence to be known when it is needed.”
Shoust nodded. “Your will shall be done.”
To be continued…
I hope you enjoyed our stories! I'd just like to through a huge shoutout to @impurestcheese, @tommythehitman, and @the_poet; I couldn't have done this with out you guys! We will have another installment prepared next Friday, August 16th, 2013. So please comment and let us know what you thought of our entries.