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RVM45

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Saber
« on: July 21, 2014, 08:28:47 am »


Saber



Chapter One




   Warn looked out his window and watched the Gypsies next door without any particular interest.

   The Gypsies seemed to be packing up to leave. The Gypsies owned their trailer while Warn rented his, but they didn’t seem to be planning on taking the trailer with them, since they seemed intent on moving stuff out of it.

   There were several four-wheel drive trucks sitting beside the Gypsy trailer and on the road that fronted the trailers. Three of the trucks had cab-over campers. A couple more of the trucks had the less ambitious stand-up campers without the cab-over. The other trucks had a hard-shelled bed cover at the very least.

   There were three Ford vans, a single ancient VW van and a couple panel trucks parked on the road as well.

   Warn noted with satisfaction that the Gypsies shared his preference for Ford vans. Usually he wasn’t drawn into brand name arguments about automobiles. In the case of vans though, the way Ford put the motor under a abbreviated hood extended forward made mechanical work easier and meant there’d be more cargo space for given wheelbase.

   The power had gone out—at least in the trailer park—a couple days before the downpour started. Warn had a small portable TV with a five-inch black and white screen, but the stations had gone off the air relatively quickly as the rain continued to fall.

   Warn tried his radio every couple of hours, but all he seemed to get was national stations and they all droned on and on about being patient and waiting for aid to come to them. They weren’t very informative about things that mattered—like when the power would come back on and when relief supplies would arrive.

   He really wasn’t expecting help from that quarter, but scanning the broadcasts would give him something to do until his batteries gave out.

   It was late enough in the year that it wasn’t terribly cold, but it was chilly. The rain and the humidity didn’t help at all in that regard.

   There was a knock on his door. He wasn’t surprised to see Matty the Gypsy boy who lived next door and his father.

   Matty came by and talked to Warn occasionally, but only when Warn was outside. It was a crazy world and Warn didn’t want any neighbors with perverted minds wondering why he habitually entertained a thirteen year old behind closed doors.

   It was much easier to accuse someone of moral turpitude than it was for the accused to prove his innocence.

   Warn knew he wasn’t a poster child for conformity. During a witch-hunt it is invariably the eccentric and the iconoclastic who get persecuted. God knew that the GCBs had multiple witch-hunts going.

   He hadn’t spoken to Matty’s father, except to wish him a good day, during the almost two years the Gypsies had lived next door.

   Still, he wasn’t surprised to find Matty and his father at his door, because someone had knocked and the Gypsies were the only ones who seemed to be out stirring.

   “Come over to my trailer a moment,” Matty’s father—Warn didn’t even know his name—said to Warn.

   The man’s tone brooked no argument, but neither was it pitched to move Warn to defiance—which was easy enough to do.

    What the Hell? It wasn’t as if Warn had anything else to do at the moment.

   “You helped Matty out more than once,” the Gypsy said.

   All Warn had done was to shout and wave his cane at older youths who’d tried to beat up the Gypsy boy. Matty was soft-spoken and rather small for his age.

   “You do know that the system is breaking down at long last? Many of us are amazed that it held together this long.

   “I’d ask you to come with us, but we have certain obligations that we must meet. As much as I regret it, that takes precedence over any debt of gratitude that I feel toward you.

   “You should try very hard to get out of the city. This rain is fortuitous, but when it finally stops—and it must stop eventually—they’re going to start rounding up non-essential personnel to go to the refuge camps.

   “Don’t ever go to a refuge camp—not of your own free will. Postpone that fateful day as long as you can run or fight, because once you’re inside, it is all but hopeless,” the Gypsy said.      

   Warn shrugged indifferently.

   “What will you do?” the Gypsy asked.

   “Not much that I can do,” Warn responded.

   “I don’t know Jack Spritz about running, hiding, evading or surviving. I went into the US Army to learn stuff like that. I was approved to go to Ranger school to be a Ranger just as soon as I graduated airborne school.

   “I messed my knee up real bad on my third jump. I’ve had a bad limp ever since. I can’t run, so the excess calories build up.

   “I’ve given up. I’m not a fighter anymore—if I ever was. I’ll sit here passively until they come for me. When the day comes that they line me up beside a trench to face a firing squad, they’ll be doing me a big favor.

   “Life is so unutterably tedious and dolorous nowadays. Sometimes I wonder how I’ll be able to stand the boredom between now and the day that I die,” Warn said with a sigh—as if the long speech almost took more psychic energy than he felt that he still had left.

   “I have an alternative,” the Gypsy said.

   “Do you know what this is?” the Gypsy continued.

   “It is a sword,” Warn said without much interest.

   “This is a special sword,” the Gypsy said while pulling the sword back out of Warn’s reach, because almost in spite of himself, Warn felt drawn to the sword.

   “Beware when you take a dead man’s sword, lest his spirit come to claim you,” the Gypsy warned.

   “That only applies to a very few special swords,” the Gypsy said.

   “There are no such things as ghosts. When a man dies, his spirit goes to be with Jesus if he’s a good man. I don’t know where the spirits of evil men go to await the final judgement, but I assure you that they do not walk the Earth.

   “I am a little vaguer on what happens to the soul. I imagine that it lies with the body awaiting the final resurrection. Or maybe it stays with the spirit.

   “Be that as it may. This is a very special sword and it has some small remnant of the man who once owned it still abiding within it.

   “It isn’t his spirit. It isn’t his soul. It certainly isn’t his body.

   “It’s…something,” the Gypsy said, seemingly defeated by the immensity of the subject.

   “Look, you know that weapons have a soul? Guns, knives, and swords, war hammers—all sorts of weapons have souls. Even animals have souls—read “Ecclesiastes”.

   “Do weapons also have a spirit and an awareness? I can’t tell you about the spirit, but they do have a bit of rudimentary consciousness. Where does it come from?

   “I believe that a weapon’s personality functions much like a portable hard drive. When a man posses a weapon with love and respect, the weapon runs its program using its companion’s capacity for thought and awareness.

   “When the owner dies or the weapon becomes separated from its other half, its mental processes slow to almost nothing until another sympathetic warrior posses it.

   “Sometimes though, data flows into the weapon’s virtual memory, or hard drive or whatever you choose to think of it as. When that happens, a large part of the last owner’s memories—more than mere memories—a bit of his vital essence gets stored in the weapon.

   “The unseen world is nothing to play with. There are mildly good or at least neutral forces at large—like what lies in this sword—but they are the most inconsequential percentage of the total.

   “The unseen world is thick with unclean spirits—the demonic. All they care to do is to kill, steal and destroy everything good and proper. And they invariably come dressed as an Angel of Light.

   “But I warrant that there is nothing diabolical about the sword. However, once you touch it you will be changed. It will happen little by little at first and then in leaps and bounds.

   “You will always be you, but the sword will change what you are—and once it has begun, you can halt most of the progress but you’ll never be able to undo what is already done,” The Gypsy finished.

   The Gypsy picked up an old khaki colored knapsack and the sword—still in its sheath. He carried them back to Warn’s trailer, still unwilling for Warn to touch the sword till he’d thoroughly considered the choice before him.

   The man set the bag in the middle of the floor and laid the sword on the couch.

   “Do you have any wool socks?” he asked Warn.

   Warn shook his head negatively.

   “I thought as much. Listen, wool is what you want when it is cold and wet. I’m leaving you a couple pair of wool knee socks. You’ll find more in he knapsack if you decide to bug out.

   “There is a wool turtleneck sweater for you and a wool greatcoat. There is also a long wool scarf and a sock hat. I don’t have any wool pants or long johns for you, so this will have to do.

   “Remember, cotton and all synthetics loose all their insulating qualities when wet—but wool is a miracle fabric and keeps most of its insulating properties—wool, silk and leather to a degree.

   “Staying warm in weather like this means survival.”

   “Where does the sword fit into this?” Warn asked.

   “If you choose to unite with the sword, it will teach you to fight and hide and survive,” the Gypsy explained.

   After the Gypsy convoy pulled out, Warn sat and brooded.  There was little motivation to stay in the increasingly damp and miserable trailer. He poked through the pack and gear that the Gypsies had left for him.

   There was a .22 caliber pistol—a Ruger Semi-automatic MK II. There was a set of comic cartoons that showed in some detail how to load and use the unfamiliar weapon.

   Warn had never owned a pistol, but even as a boy he’d been far more drawn to BB pistols and pellet pistols while most of his friends were into long guns. The US Army had taught him to use the M-4 carbine and the SAW so he wasn’t a total stranger to firearms.

   He recognized Matty’s work on the little comic that had come in the Ruger’s plastic box. The boy was quite an advanced artist. The illustrations were crystal clear and several times the little comic image of Matty addressed Warn directly.

   There was a leather shoulder holster and the instructions showed how to adjust the holster’s harness. There was a double magazine pouch on the weak side of the holster and also a pouch with a wickedly sharp Buck Lockback.

   There were also two double magazine pouches that were worn on the belt. Apparently someone had been most anxious not to run short of magazines.

   Matty’s cartoon appraised Warn of a whole grab bag of miscellaneous facts.

   It was good to be armed during a crisis, but sometimes it was wiser to be discrete. The pistol could be hidden rather well.

   The .22 LR is good for shooting small to medium-sized game—though it had killed larger game in a pinch. It was quieter than centerfire cartridges, though Warn’s .22 pistol was louder than a .22 rifle would have been.

   .22 ammunition is light and Warn’s pack had two bricks of .22 LR ammunition—well over a thousand rounds.

   Any gun is better for self-defense than no gun, but .22s are relatively feeble.

   Warn shouldn’t expect someone to back off just because he showed them his gun. In fact, the best tactic was not to show it until the decision to fire had been reached.

   Warn should expect the tiny rounds to fail to stop a determined man. Somewhere between two to five rounds centered on an eyeball was best. Failing that he should empty the magazine into someone’s sternum.

   That was a lot of information to absorb in a short period of time. Warn practiced drawing and sighting down the pistol fifty times. He wasn’t much handier with the pistol than before, but it was a start. He resolved to try to do at least fifty draws every day.

   Next Warn tried to thumb open the Buck. He only managed twenty repetitions. It was nerve wracking applying stiff thumb pressure to the side of the razor sharp blade. The comic told him that as the action smoothed out and the spring lightened a wee bit that opening the brand new knife would become easier.

   It was almost dark now. It was too late to start out today, but as twilight fell and the dim light began to fade, Warn drew and examined the sword.

   Warn knew next to nothing about swords, so he wasn’t aware what an unusual sword he held.

   The old long swords—what folks nowadays called either hand-and-half swords or bastard swords had blades between perhaps thirty-three and thirty-eight inches. The relative lack of hand protection meant that one spent a lot of time trying to whack off the client’s fingers while avoiding his mannerly attempts to return the attention.

   Sabers had good hand protection—if one was right handed or if he had a custom left-handed saber. The problem with a saber was that they were one-handed swords. Also, most of them were on the short side compared to a long sword.

   The longest regular production saber was the US 1860 Heavy Calvary Saber with a thirty-six inch blade. It was called “Old Wrist-Breaker” but the extra two-to-four inch reach was also said to be a decisive advantage occasionally.

   The longest Japanese Katanas also had about a thirty-six inch blade, but most were shorter. Tactically, a Katana was a relatively short long sword with a modest curve and rather skimpy hand protection.

   Someone had commissioned an upsized 1860 saber. It had a thirty-nine inch blade. The guard was symmetrical, giving equal protection regardless of which hand it was wielded in and the handle had been lengthened to allow a two-handed long sword type grip, including a generous space between the hands. It had a seven inch sharpened false edge.

   The sword was a bit heavy, but not as heavy as one might have thought and it was intended for a man who was far stronger than average.

   Warn had no expectations, so the sword was just a sword to him. He did admire the gleaming brass and the highly polished steel.

   He didn’t feel the sword start to quicken in his hands. Perhaps he wouldn’t have credited the vague perception even if he’d been aware of it.




.....RVM45                :mellow: :thumbsup: :mellow:
Logged
There are only Two Types of People in the World:

A.} Folks who are after my Guns;

And;

B.} Folks who Are Not after my Guns.

Nothing Else Matters.

RVM45

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Re: Saber
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2014, 02:54:58 pm »

Chapter Two




   Warn gathered up a few things that he thought might come in handy: a flashlight, all his remaining batteries, some food and a three-liter soft drink bottle to carry water in.

   There was a few edibles left in his kitchen: a loaf of rye bread, a full box of crackers, a big unopened jar of crunchy peanut butter, three cans of porking beans—he wondered briefly about the sanity of someone who imagined beans porking.

   Did the fellow who named the beans picture them getting it on in the dark privacy of the can? Perhaps the beans waited until they were lying on the plate out in front of God and everyone to sate their exhibitionism? Maybe they waited until they were inside someone’s alimentary tract. Maybe that was where the gas came from.

   There was also three cans of tuna, two cans of salmon, two cans of spam and ten pounds of rice. If he had had much more food, he’d have despaired of carrying it. He was leaving quite a few a few miscellaneous items of food behind as it was.

   The big Japanese style chef’s knife came with its own hard plastic sheath. Warn shrugged and placed it in the bag. He grabbed a dishtowel and wrapped his can opener in it. Then he wrapped a small paring knife in the towel with the can opener.

   He came across one of those long neck butane lighters intended to light a grill with. Warn had no grill and he wondered where he’d come by the lighter, but he stuck it in his bag as well.

   The Gypsy had left Warn with a “Possibles Bag”—a leather shoulder bag meant to ride on his left side. He slung his disordered gym bag—mainly filled with food to ride on his left hip.

   Somehow the saber let Warn know in no uncertain terms that it was meant to ride on his right side, positioned for a left-handed draw. The food bag meant that he couldn’t draw the long bladed sword at all quickly.

   It was all good though. The possibles bag had a tomahawken hanging from a leather loop on the rear of the bag. Warn had his stout Irish blackthorn walking stick—that he could barely walk without—and he had his Ruger .22.

   As unsteady as Warn was on his feet, Warn wasn’t much of a threat at hand-to-hand fighting anyway.

   Warn limped heavily down the road. His right knee had a rather limited degree of flexion. Since Warn made no particular effort to exercise, the leg had lost most of its strength in addition to losing much of its range of motion. The other leg had grown a bit stronger to compensate, but that made Warn even further out of balance.

   He hadn’t walked far in the drizzling rain before his calves cramped and his low back ached. He marched grimly on. The Gypsy had stressed getting out of town as soon as possible. At least the rain kept almost everyone indoors and out of Warn’s misery.

   A couple hour’s worth of limping got Warn to the edge of town. There was a bridge across a small creek—no more than a big ditch really. Warn’s lips curled back into a silent snarl as he spied a half a squad of National Guard troops manning a road block.

   These guys must have been deployed to the mid-east recently, because they still wore the desert camouflage. The subdued brown and tan pattern would work just about as well in the woods as the green woodland pattern. Nonetheless it looked a bit ludicrous on men standing around a fire barrel in a downpour.

   Warn moved to his left and worked his way down the creek looking for a low bank that would let him wade across.

   When he found a place he crossed the creek. The water was no higher than his crotch all the way across. But Warn had overestimated his ability to climb with his bad knee. He couldn’t climb the far bank and he ended up travelling almost a quarter mile downstream before he found a bank shallow enough to climb.

   Warn was worn out. The long wade through the cold water had him on the edge of hypothermia and his teeth chattered together miserably.

   He come to an old tumbledown barn that was partially collapsed and he decided that was where he’d spend the night—not that it was much past noon, but he’d had enough for the day.

   Inside under the roof of the half of the barn that hadn’t collapsed, the dirt floor was both clear and dry.

   Warn quickly dropped his pack and both his bags. He also shed his poncho.

   There were a couple scraggly trees just outside the barn and Warn used a pair of pruning shears to quickly gather an armload of pencil-sized kindling. Some kind of vermin’s nest—squirrel, rat or whatever—furnished him with plenty dry tinder.

   There were stalls or hay bins or something in the old barn. The ancient two-by-ten oak boards were bleached colorless gray by time. They were warped and cracked and just about as dry as wood can get.

   Warn used his folding saw to gather a pile of eighteen inch planks of firewood. There was also a ten-foot section of a fallen tree that had gotten inside the old barn somehow. The wood was rotten to the point of being pulpy, but it was reasonably dry.

   Warn built his fire around the ten-inch diameter log. Eventually it too would catch fire and he could feed it in a couple of feet at a time.

   Starting a fire under the circumstances was no great feat. That was a good thing, because Warn wasn’t up for any demanding challenges at the moment.

   He took one of the Vaseline impregnated cotton balls from a watertight bottle in the possibles bag. He scraped a fine coating of magnesium onto the cotton ball from the magnesium fire starter that he’d added to his keychain for no particular reason when he’d saw the gadgets sitting in a small jar by the cash register at the hardware store.

   It was probably overkill to use both a cotton ball and magnesium but Warn was no woodsman and he needed a fire now. He placed the ball into the midst of his tinder and lit it with the long grill lighter.

   He judiciously fed the small fire bits of kindling and soon the old oak boards beneath caught fire.

   Warn had worked up an appetite. He used the small aluminum skillet that he’d brought to fry some spam. Meanwhile he contrived to toast some of his bread over the fire. He wasn’t one to eat his bread raw—though he tried not to be too squeamish when a toaster wasn’t available.

   Maybe he’d save a bit of spam until morning. At any rate, when he set out again, he’d have lightened his load by the weight of one can of spam.

   As Warn sat enjoying his fire he noticed a small dog watching him intently. The dog looked to be some sort of shorthaired Terrier—Rat Terrier, maybe a Jack Russell Terrier. Warn wasn’t really up on his Terrier breeds and besides, the dog might be a mixed breed for all he knew.

   Anyway, the dog looked a bit taller than most Terriers and he was as gaunt as a Greyhound—or even a bit more. A lean Greyhound is healthy. This dog looked to be emaciated.

   Warn spoke to the dog and it shied away from his voice. He pitched him a piece of spam and after running away as if he thought Warn meant to stone him, he came back and wolfed down the bite.

   He fed the dog a bite at a time, until he was down to one big piece.

   “If you want this, you have to come get it,” he told the small dog.

   The dog barked furiously at him as if he were doing something wrong. Eventually though, he took the meat from Warn’s hand.

   A few minutes later, it let Warn touch it. Once that Rubicon was crossed the dog seemed to loose all reserve. It climbed all over Warn while licking his hands and face and wagging its tail frantically.

   The dog had a leather collar that was cracked and dry rotten and had started to chafe. Warn cut the collar loose with a flick of the razor sharp buck. Now, whatever else might happen to the dog, he would never hang himself by its collar.

   There was an inscription on a bass plate on the collar. Warn had to squint to reads the small print in the uncertain light in the barn.

   “My name is Fungi because I’m a fun guy,” the plate said.

   “Well Fun Guy, apparently someone loved you once. I wonder what happened to them and how you ended up here?

   “Stick with me, I’ll put some meat on those ribs,” Warn told the dog.

   Fun Guy or Fungi recognized his name and he wagged his tail even faster.

   Warn opened a can of tuna for the small dog. Two hundred calories and forty grams of protein he thought to himself. That and the quarter of a can of spam ought to hold the little dog until morning.

   Then again, while he was certain that the little dog required fewer calories to survive than a full-grown man—it only stood to reason—he had no idea what the little dog’s caloric requirements were.

   It hurt his heart to think of the little dog going to bed hungry. So just in case Warn toasted another slice of rye bread and wiped the grease out of his skillet until the toast was thoroughly grease impregnated. Then he fed it to his new friend.

   After he was warm once more, Warn practiced drawing his Ruger .22 again. He also practiced both drawing and thumbing open the Buck knife. Then lunacy of all lunacy, he drew the sword a few times.

   The little dog almost managed to catch the tip once when Warn went to flourish the blade. He had a very vivid mental image of himself standing with the small dog unintentionally skewered on the sword.

   Nonetheless, the sword felt unduly heavy and awkward.

   Warn knew from tidbits of data he’d picked up here and there that it took a good deal of wrist strength to wield a heavy sword well. Legend had it that the Highland Scots started their children on heavy-duty wrist strengthening exercises when they were very young. As adults, the Scots could wield a claymore far too heavy for a mere mortal man to use.

   He wasn’t sure how true that was, but wrist and finger strength could be built and Warn was familiar with wrist exercises that used the inertia and negative leverage of long sticks to exercise the hands.

   He did a number of wrist exercises holding the sword’s grip in his left hand, but leaving the sheath on. That way his dog was safe and he had a bit more inertia to overcome.

   After the wrist exercises, Warn fiddled around with various guards and drilled himself on a few basic cuts. I didn’t occur to him to wonder how he knew the basic cuts and guards nor to wonder what use swordsmanship was in the modern world.

   When he finally tired and lay down to sleep, the little dog curled up beside him.

   “Ach Ja! Du bist Kaufman!” he said to the small dog.

   That was one of the very few phrases that Warn had carried away from high school German. The phrase meant, if he remembered correctly:

   “O Yes! You’re a Pharmacist.”

   But it was one of Warn’s standard caught-off-guard remarks and he argued mentally that it could mean almost anything depending on context. At least in Warn’s idioglossia it could.

   He wondered about fleas but shrugged off the concern as he wrapped an arm around the little dog.

   ***************** ************************* *************************

   Warn woke to a rain-free though partly cloudy morning. He felt better but he didn’t want to fiddle with a bunch of cooking first thing in the morning.

   He heated some coffee and breakfasted on Pop Tarts. Someone—probably Matty—had included four boxes of the breakfast treats. Warn ate three of the strawberry flavored Pop Tarts packs and fed the last pair to Fun Guy.

   As he stepped outside and prepared to leave the vicinity of the barn he heard Fun Guy yelp. There were three ragged fellows with rotten teeth standing around the corner and one of them had a homemade noose on the end of a pole like dog-pound catchers use. They looked like they might have been brothers.

   “That’s my dog,” Warn said laconically.

   “Not anymore,” one of the young men told Warn.

   “We’re hungry and dog is on the menu.”

   “Turn him loose,” Warn said.

   “If you don’t shut up old man, we’ll take your stuff and maybe eat you too,” one of them said.

   “Te quitas o te quito,” Warn told them.

   It meant literally: “Move or I move you.”

   Only Warn had no Spanish.

   Warn could see that the rotten toothed ruffians weren’t going to release his dog. Even if they did, Warn didn’t like the idea of having them on his back trail.

   He drew his Ruger relatively smoothly. He aimed right at the eye-socket of the fellow holding the noose pole and fired a three round burst. The first round was on target but didn’t penetrate into the brain.

   Warn yanked the two would-be follow-up shots well off target.

   Nonetheless the client grabbed his left eye with both hands while dropping the noose pole. He floundered around all over the ground while repeating over and over again:

   “He put out my Almighty Deity cursed eye!”

   Though he had an alternate way of taking the Good Lord’s name in vain.

   He pointed at the second client, the one holding a pitchfork at port arms and emptied the remaining eight rounds into the fellow’s torso—and Warn’s shots were all over the torso—in the guts, in the lungs, high enough too chip a collar bone and even one just below the sternum.

   The man knew that he’d been shot, but the realization only infuriated him. He charged at Warn like it was bayonet training in US Army basic training. Bayonet training had been one of the few things that Warn had liked about basic training or the US Army in general.

   He sidestepped the mad rush and drew his long saber with an ease that surprised him.

   The third man came toward Warn with an upraised machete. Warn—who’d shoved his pistol into his open pouch in the meantime—ran the client about seven inches through the sternum while he was still out of the much shorter machete’s reach.

   The man wasn’t quite stopped yet, but he was immobilized knowing that death was inevitable and that at most he had a handful of moments to live. While he stood gazing into the abyss, Warn stepped closer and took his head off thus ending any capacity the man still had for harm.

   Warn spun around in time to meet the man with the pitchfork again.

   Warn batted the pitchfork away and then rode shaft down far enough with his blade to cut the first three fingers off the man’s left hand. He tried to wield the weapon weakly in one hand. War cut the man’s right arm off well above the elbow.

   “Please don’t kill me!” the man pleaded over and over.

   “Would you want to live with only one mangled hand left? Well you’d live to regret it and my conscious would bother me. I’ll never leave a client maimed and living if I can possibly avoid it. That is too damned cruel,” Warn told him.

   The client never saw the beheading blow coming.

   Meanwhile, the fellow that Warn had shot in the eye had recovered a modicum of composure. He had retrieved the machete from his kinsman. He started at Warn in a rush and then Fun Guy seized his leg hard enough to trip him up.

   The client turned and raised his machete.

   Warn abandoned all subtlety. He swung the massive sword two handed—left hand on top—like a big league switch hitter swinging for a big home run. It worked because the client wasn’t even looking at Warn at the moment he swung.

   The man was no weapon master and he’d just lost an eye. It is entirely possible that he couldn’t have countered or evaded Warn’s berserker attack even if he’d seen it coming.

   The over-sized saber caught the man on his left side since his back was almost to Warn. The blade started its cut just at the base of the ribcage and angled downward.

   The sword cleaved the man clean in two, just like the hog carcasses that they used to cleave in the Cold Steel demonstrations…

   Only the pigs in the demonstrations were gutted. Well Warn hadn’t thought that a bit of guts would hinder a sword that much.

   The demonstrations were unrealistic to the degree that very rarely will someone have time to wind up and swing like someone trying to kill a snake in the high grass. Even if one did manage to swing that hard then the inevitable follow through would leave one very vulnerable to counter-attack.

   Warn found himself in a situation where none of that really applied and because he was loath to lose his new friend he’d thrown caution to the winds.

   This time it had paid off.

   Warn took the three heads and impaled them on three stakes that he’d driven into the ground. He searched the bodies briefly. He took a fancy to a small hunting knife because the stag grips matched the stag grips on his Ruger.

   He left the pitchfork, the machete and a couple medium quality sheath knives and a couple more pocketknives inside the barn where they wouldn’t rust away so fast. Maybe someone could salvage them and get some use from them.

   He left the bodies where the lay, but he took the time to cut the clothes from them in hopes the flies could get to them better and dispose of them that much faster.

   He didn’t expect that there would ever be an investigation. If there was, with only his side of the story to be told, he thought hat he could plead self-defense.

   But the sooner the bodies rotted away completely, the sooner that it all became a moot point.

   As Warn and Fun Guy travelled along the road, it hadn’t yet occurred to him to wonder where his geas and some irresistible inner urging was taking him—at least not yet.

   He did wonder when and where he’d watched the old Cold Steel cutting demonstrations. He could recall all of the hacking and slashing in some detail…

   But he didn’t ever remember watching them and no one had ever given him cutting lessons with a sword.

   At least his knee seemed marginally, marginally more mobile and his calves and low back weren’t aching nearly so much today.



.....RVM45                 :mellow: :thumbsup: :mellow:             
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RVM45

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Re: Saber
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2014, 03:27:54 pm »

Chapter Three





   Warn limped along the roadway. Fun Guy ran ahead of Warn and flushed the occasional bird or rabbit and then went into paroxysms of barking.

   “Be a little modest,” Warn told the small dog.

   “There may be more dog-pound catchers out there,” he said.

   Fun Guy regarded Warn earnestly, turning his head first this way, then that. He seemed to believe that Warn was putting him on with an outrageous lie that Fun Guy couldn’t possibly be expected to take seriously.

   After a moment, the Terrier pointed his muzzle straight at Warn as if he had a nose-mounted laser pointer and he barked loudly several times.

   “Have it your way then,” Warn said to his dog—who then quit barking at Warn.

   Warn got to thinking as he made his painful way down the trail.

   It felt all good and right and proper to have a dog. Warn had slept sounder than he had in years with his arm around the little dog. He had a feeling though, that ordinarily he chose bigger breeds.

   The strange part though, was that Warn couldn’t remember ever having a dog.

   Another thing, dog-pound catchers were stock villains in many old children’s movies—but Warn couldn’t remember ever seeing one in real life. Did they even have dog-pound catchers in the modern world?

   Not that the fellow with the pole had been a dog-pound catcher, but it got Warn to wondering.

   Warn made a point to touch the hilt of the two-handed saber every now and again as he walked.

   The Gypsy had said that as soon as he touched the sword, some sort of change would begin.

   Warn knew nothing about swordplay. All those moves that had saved Fun Guy and his lives—as clumsy as they might have been executed—had come from somewhere outside him.

   Maybe touching the sword, skin to metal and leather, might speed up the process.

   Something else came to mind. The Gypsy hadn’t wanted Warn to touch even the scabbard of the enchanted sword until he’d weighed the pros and cons of doing so. Matty’s father hadn’t been the least reluctant to carry the sword though—at least not by the scabbard anyway.

   The sword was rare and valuable presumably. Yet the Gypsies cheerfully left it lying on Warn’s tumbledown sofa. It might still be lying there if Warn hadn’t opted to bring it.

   Maybe the sword was a curse or a jinx and the Gypsies were more than happy to be shed of it.

   Warn knew, or at least surmised that he was in the midst of a wide scale breakdown of society. Nonetheless, the absolute lack of anyone along the roadway was more than a bit puzzling. Damned nation! There weren’t any abandoned vehicles either.

   There were no starving hordes. There were no armies of zombies or leprous looking plaque victims. No alien flying saucers strafed the roadway with sick chartreuse colored disintegrator rays.  There were no black uniformed jack-booted thugs and no survivalist citizen militias either.

   In fact, except for the inbred Billy-Bob tribute to the Three Stooges, the world seemed singularly devoid of human beings or near facsimiles thereof.

   On the other hand, the roadway didn’t look run-down, grown up or deserted either.

   There hadn’t been a single jet contrail in the sky all day either.

   Houses, barns or other artifacts of man also seemed singularly lacking. In fact, though they were walking along a four-lane highway, Warn couldn’t remember seeing a single highway sign or guardrail.

   Warn only made about six miles in a long day’s marching. He left the roadway to pitch a Tarpaulin and set up camp.

   As he set up camp, he got himself into a foul mood thinking about the vulgar folks who shortened the word “Tarpaulin” to “Tarp”.

   “Damn nation people!” Warn railed in his thoughts.

   “Are you so damn sloven and lazy that you can’t pronounce two syllables?”

   Then he stopped to ask himself just who used the infuriating non-word “Tarp”.

   “You see it all the time on woodcraft and survival sites,” he thought to himself.

   Survival sites? Warn didn’t follow survival sites. In fact, he couldn’t recall ever having owned a computer or even having been on the Internet.

   What exactly was the Internet anyway?

   Come to think of it, how did he know how to set up a camp this way? His hands had moved with the assurance of repeating something that they’d done many times.

   He cooked some of his rice and stirred a can of his tuna fish into it. There was plenty of carbohydrate and protein all in the same concoction. He took a taste and the dish was lacking something. He opened a can of the inexplicably libidinous porking beans into the pot.

   A big hunk of margarine would bring the rice around nicely thank you, but he had no margarine, or butter.

   He’d eat the other can of spam for breakfast in the morning he promised himself while he served Fun Guy a generous helping of the conglomeration. Fun Guy didn’t seem to share Warn’s lack of enthusiasm for the bland dish.

   After his supper had settled, warn practiced drawing his pistol again. This time, after fifty draws he practiced swapping magazines at a modest but efficient pace.

   He practiced the same cuts and guards with the sheathed sword as he had the night before. Then he went through the moves of that morning’s fight a few times. Finally he used the sword as a leverage device to work his hands, wrists and fingers once more.

   He fished around in his food bag when he was done with his sword exercises. He’d included a pair of grip exercisers though he couldn’t have told even himself why he’d done it—even at the time.

   Now it seemed perfectly natural to sit around the fire working on building a stronger grip. No one ever has quite enough grip strength Warn thought as he squeezed the grippers again and again.

   Jerry Miculek had said that it was important to get the trigger finger used to working independently of the other three fingers and thumb. Warn pointed his trigger fingers straight while squeezing the grip with the other three fingers. Then he turned the grip upside down and worked his trigger finger by itself.

   There was no good way to work the trigger finger with the hand gripper, but it could be worked partially via several expedients. Hopefully the two or three partial range of motion exercises for the old trigger finger would get it stronger all through its range of motion.

   Who in the seven burning Hells was Jerry Miculek? Where had Warn heard of him? And what in Hell was a revolver?

   “When I make camp tomorrow, the first order of business will be to set out some snares or deadfalls,” he told himself.

   Setting snares was a painstaking process. Warn had no idea how he’d go about setting primitive traps. On the other hand, he had no doubt that he could do it when the time came.

   Perhaps his father had taught him or he’d been a Boy Scout.

   No, he was sure that he’d never been into scouting. While it stood to reason that he had to have had a biological father, warn had no memory of him. He had no memories of being an orphan either.

   ********************** ******************** ***********************

   Warn awoke hungry and disgusted.

   He wolfed down three-fourths of a can of spam and gave the rest to Fun Guy. While he was waiting for his coffee to boil, Warn toasted and ate three pieces of bread and fed two pieces of toast to Fun Guy.

   He had quite a bit of Tang, but it tasted like urine at ambient temperature. He could only enjoy cold Tang.

   However, he knew that the never-ending hunger was a sign that he was running a large calorie deficit.

   Since he wasn’t going to enjoy it anyway, he made it extra thick and syrupy.

   As he downed the Tang syrup, he flashed on the fact that hot Tang was a favorite sore throat or stopped-up sinus remedy and it wasn’t bad hot.

   ***************** ************************ ********************

   Warn was disgusted as he hit the road. This crap didn’t get any easier he thought to himself.

   In point of fact, the sword was gradually quickening Warn, but it had minimal energy to work with, having lain idle for so very long.

   After his first day’s march, the sword had restored about three degrees of flexion to Warn’s right knee. It had restored about five percent of his atrophied muscle. It had even restored about one percent of the wear and tear on the abdominal, back and hip muscles and joints that had suffered decades of abuse from having to swing the stiff leg around.

   The sword had shot its bolt for awhile, so far as dramatic healing was concerned. The second night, the sword added about one more degree of movement to the knee and perhaps restored another one percent of the wasted muscle. Any improvement in the back and hip would have been very marginal.

   These were inconsequential increments, but eventually even the most inconsequential increments can accrue and become something grand.

   Although Warn couldn’t have quantized it, he’d felt the improvement in a very subtle and subliminal way the first morning. He didn’t feel the minuscule improvement the today and he resented the lack.

   ******************* ********************** *********************

   Warn was walking along the rightmost shoulder of the highway. It just seemed natural to him.

   He looked head to see a column of thirteen men in robes coming down his shoulder of the roadway. He stepped well to his left to give them plenty of room.

   When they got closer, Warn noted that they all wore lime green robes and had shaved heads—shaved by a dull razor from the looks of all the cuts, scabs and scars on their bald heads.

   Each man seemed to have had his eyes burnt out. There was burn tissue and the occasional keloid around the empty sockets. Each man carried a staff about six and a half foot long and each man clasped the woven belt of the man before him.

   “Greetings brother,” the lead monk said to Warn when they heard his limping steps.

   “Hello,” Warn said.

   Something about the monks was off-putting. He wanted to get well shed of them as quickly as possible.

   The monks seemed preternaturally swift though. With Warn’s approximate location ascertained by his voice they moved to circle Warn.

   Warn drew his sword. These dudes were making him extremely uneasy.

   “Your eyes blind you to the truth brother. Let us rid you of them and set you free,” The head monk said.

   “I don’t think so,” Warn said with a distinctive diction that said “Hell no!” in metacommunication.

   “Y’all done been crazy enough to eat rat turds and call it caviar,” Warn said.

   “I don’t want to hurt y’all, but I’ll kill anyone who tries to lay hands on me,” Warn shouted.

   Damn, here a squad of some voluntary blindness cult surrounded him and he was forced to choose between either slaying the blind or joining them.

   The head monk aimed a stout blow at his head. Warn countered deftly with his saber, but the blow was well executed even if only approximately aimed. If one of them managed to knock him out it would be all over.

   The horrible image of waking up with his eyes and sight forever gone gave Warn the strength of a berserker and all thoughts of forbearance vanished like dope at a rock concert.

   The head monk raised his staff overhead. Warn cut his arms from beneath and severed both of them above the elbow.

   Warn kicked the blood spurting client back with his good leg, knocking him down, clearing the space around him and tripping a couple of monks who were advancing towards him.

   Fun Guy got under one of the monk’s robes and grabbed him at the crotch. It turned out that the monks were eunuchs as well as being blind, but having a sharp toothed Terrier attack one’s wee-Willie-Winkee—even a eunuch’s shrunken wee-Willie-Winkee—was not happy-making.

   The monk screamed like a banshee being raped by a sasquatch but he managed to get his hands on the little dog and tear him loose. He raised Fun Guy high overhead preparatory to smashing him to the ground.

   Meanwhile Warn had his hands full fending of all the smashes and strokes aimed in his general vicinity. He was leery of thrusting lest he get his sword momentarily immobilized. It was surprisingly difficult to get a good cut at blind men who were continually flourishing their long heavy staffs with some skill.

   Warn held the saber momentarily in his left hand and drew his gun with his right.

   He made a perfect one-handed shot into the head of the man preparing to slam-dunk Fun Guy. The bullet went straight into the ear canal and dropped the blind man as if he’d been hit with a knocking hammer.

   Fun Guy, having learned nothing from his near demise, attacked another monk’s ankle.

   There were ten rounds left in the Ruger and eleven monks left. Make those rounds count!

   One monk would front Warn while two others stood slightly to either side trying to catch him from the side. All the while several attempted to get him from behind.

   Warn cursed his bad leg. O, if only he could move!

   He shot the monk in front of him right where his left eye would have been. The monk dropped immediately.

   He turned slightly to his right and shot that monk with a two round burst to the empty eye sockets.

   Damn! Meant to economize and get one with each shot.
   
   Warn moved as rapidly as he could to take advantage of the gap that had formed on his 10:00.

   Warn fund himself behind a flailing monk and he aimed a vicious backhand slash from behind at the man’s unprotected thigh. Even wielding the saber one handed, the adrenaline-driven cut severed the leg and left one less client to worry about.

   Then Warn aimed a vicious sucker punch at the unprotected jaw of an unsuspecting monk.

   Yep, the big brass guard on the two-handed saber was a lethal weapon in its own right.

   Warn realized that the gunshots were at least moderately disorientating to the blind monks. It was a shame that he didn’t have a short-barreled .357 Magnum to shoot at them. An image of a two-inch barreled Smith and Wesson Model 36 in .357 came into his mind unbidden.

   Warn fired out his pistol quickly. Then he shoved the Ruger into his bag and took up the big sword in both hands to cut down anyone who was left. There were only three or four still on their feet and they were a bit addled.

   Finally Warn was down to one monk who was down on all fours and bleeding from a furrow that a .22 bullet had carved across his forehead.

   “You wouldn’t kill a helpless old blind man would you?” the monk asked when he sensed Warn’s presence.

   “You’d have burned my eyes out with a burning brand. You’re lucky that I don’t put a bullet in your gutty-works, hamstring you in both legs and leave you on this road to die,” Warn said.

   He struck the mad monk’s head off without further preamble.

   Warn took the time to drive thirteen stakes into the dirt on the side of the highway. He mounted the thirteen heads facing the road with gaping sockets that had been empty long before death claimed them.

   He wrapped a bit of lime green cloth around each stake, so no one would have to wonder who the skulls had once belonged to.

   He left the monk’s bodies and their gear wherever they fell. He didn’t want anything that had belonged to the crazy monks. He looked upon them as being unclean somehow.

   The sword had absorbed some vital energy from its kills and the crisis had strengthened its bond with Warn.

   That night as Warn slept, his bad knee gained another three degrees of flexion and his leg regained about another eight percent of its strength.

   After tonight, the sword would be back to making inconsequential increments of improvement in Warn’s overall condition. In fact, in a couple more days it would have slowed down to taking a week or so to make the modest improvements that it had made the second night.

   The thing though, was that each improvement was cumulative. Also the closer Warn’s leg got to normal, the less difference further improvements would make in his overall ability to move around.

   Meanwhile the exercise and skimpy diet was working some natural improvements in Warn.

    That night Warn started to dream. The dreams were vague, tenuous and brief. He wouldn’t remember them in the morning for some time—but it was a start.



.....RVM45                 :mellow: :thumbsup: :mellow:
Logged
There are only Two Types of People in the World:

A.} Folks who are after my Guns;

And;

B.} Folks who Are Not after my Guns.

Nothing Else Matters.

RVM45

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Re: Saber
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2014, 10:48:55 pm »

Chapter Four




   Warn was three weeks into his journey. His right knee had almost ten degrees of flex—compared to no more than two or three degrees when he’d first hit the road. The improvement was modest, but since the knee wasn’t supposed to have any potential to improve at all, it was still startling.

   Now he was gaining little more than an additional degree of movement per week. But he’d started to reap some natural improvements to his physique and metabolism to augment the saber’s healing effects.

   He’d lost twelve pounds of fat. His good leg was getting stronger from all the walking with a heavy pack. The atrophied muscles in his right thigh had been jumpstarted by the sword and now that the knee joint could flex again—even in a limited range—they started to fill out and strengthen all on their own. Even so, the sword added about an extra one percent of strength to those muscles—over and above their natural improvement—on a weekly basis. Even his hypertrophied right calf was getting stronger and adding flexibility.

   Much of effects of the long-term abuse that his exaggerated limp had inflicted on the muscles and vertebrae in his lower back were irremediable by natural means. He largely had to work with what he had left.

   Much of the day-to-day inflammation and soreness in his back was reduced now that he didn’t have to goose-step so much with his bad leg though. The exercise helped there to a degree as well. And the saber worked its regenerating magic on his back too, albeit glacially.

   Warn started to sing a half remembered song out loud as he walked down the roadway.

   “The Cheese takes a Wife,
   ‘The Cheese takes a Wife,
   “High-Ho the Dairy O,
   “The Cheese takes a wife.

   “She Cut Their Tails Off with a Carving Knife,
   “High-Ho the Dairy O,
   “The Cheese takes a Wife.”

   Warn wondered idly just how Cheese could take a wife. He pictured one of those great big wheels of Cheese—maybe two feet in diameter and about ten inches deep—with rounded corners and a paraffin coating—but still…

   And since the song clearly said that she was a high getting whore, why was the Cheese willing to take her to wife?

   Maybe a wheel of Cheese can’t afford to be too choosy seeking a spouse.

   Then there was the dairy reference. Was that the dairy that gave birth to the amorous Cheese? Or was it a roundabout way of saying that the high whore was busty…

   Or perhaps she was lactating. That might explain the Cheese’s attraction to her.

   There was a quatrain in the Rubaiyt:

   “Then said another with a long-drawn Sigh,
   “’My Clay with long oblivion is gone dry:
   “..But, fill me with the old familiar Juice,
   “Methinks I might recover by-and-by!’”

   If the Cheese was all cracked and broken and dry-rotted—could submerging him in woman’s milk make him whole?

   Then there was the next line to consider:

   “She Cut Their Tails Off with a Carving Knife…”

   Was the high whore some sort of sadistic neurotic? Maybe the next line explained it though:

   “Did you ever See Such a Sight in Your Life,
   “As Three Blind Mice?”

   Yeah, mice were said to be inordinately fond of Cheese in the popular folklore. Maybe the drug-addicted lactating whore was simply protecting her indisposed spouse from the gustatory attention of sentient mice.

   Warn smiled as a new thought occurred to him. He altered the song a bit to make it more apropos:

   “She Cut Their Rods Off with a Carving Knife…

   “Did you ever See Such a Sight in Your Life,
   “As Three Blind Monks?!?”

   That amused him enough that he had to halt and lean hard on his blackthorn staff as he caught his breath from laughing so much.

   Fun Guy apparently thought Warn was in distress. He jumped up on him and circled him worriedly.

   “What will you do when the Cheese’s snip-happy wife comes after you with a carving knife?”

   Warn asked the little dog.

   “Would you help protect the Cheese from hungry mice? You’re supposed to be a Rat Terrier after all. Would you try to nibble poor old Cheese? Then the tripping trollop would come trotting to tear you into tiny tidbits,” He teased Fun Guy.

   Warn grabbed the little dog up and held him to his chest.

   “I love you,” he told the little dog.

   Fun Guy was many things, but a lap dog wasn’t amongst them. After a moment he squirmed to get down. Warn was amused and held him against his will.

   Fun Guy turned around and bit Warn hard enough to draw blood from four fang marks. Warn laughed uproariously and managed to secure the little dog in such a way that he couldn’t bite him.

   “Do you hear that sound Mister Fun Guy?” he said into the little dog’s ear.

   “That is the sound of Inevitability,” He told him cryptically.

   That was one of the iconic lines from “The Matrix”.

   “What in the Hell is ‘The Matrix’ and what in the seven burning Hells is a movie?” Warn wondered briefly as he absently set the little dog on the ground.

   *************** ********************** ******************
Logged
There are only Two Types of People in the World:

A.} Folks who are after my Guns;

And;

B.} Folks who Are Not after my Guns.

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RVM45

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Re: Saber
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2014, 10:49:40 pm »

*********************** ********************* *************


Fun Guy’s blood was up and he fought playfully with Warn for a few moments. The little dog played rough and Warn’s hands soon had several punctures.

He vaguely remembered that there was supposed to be a way to calm down an overly hard play-biting pet, but Warn couldn’t recall how that worked. Anyway, well over ninety-eight percent of dogs leaned not to bite their human hard enough to draw blood without any official censure.

   He thought that the little dog’s arrogant hard biting was hilariously funny. He laughed uproariously as the blood ran down his hands. He laughed and enjoyed himself in spite of the pain—not because of it.

   Well, folks—some folks—learn to enjoy very hot peppers. That is partly because the body lets loose a flood of endorphins in response to the extreme burning sensation—the burning is largely illusory. But the body also learns that hot peppers pack an improbable amount of vitamin C. Not a biggie now, but back when folks were hunter-gatherers, getting enough vitamin C could prove a bit challenging occasionally.

   Fun Guy’s biting was the spice that livened up playing with him.

   ********************* *********************** ***********************

   Early in the afternoon, Warn felt an urge to leave the roadway. He walked off the road on the right side and pushed himself through the thicket that boarded the roadway. The thicket was only ten or fifteen annoying feet deep.

   The way opened up into a relatively open forest of sorts. It wasn’t really a climax forest. There were very few trees with diameters over ten inches. Maples and elms seemed to predominate with basswood, sassafrass, locust and honey locust making occasional appearances.

   They used to call climax forests “virgin forests”. Warn’s teachers had apparently extrapolated incorrectly from the term “virgin” just as Warn had: If the area had ever been cleared or even heavily thinned by the hand of man—even if it had been back when Jesus walked the Earth—that piece of ground could never again be “virgin forest”.

   The term “climax forest” eliminated such fruitless misunderstanding. A climax forest was what happened when you left the forest alone long enough—a few decades, certainly not much longer than a century. A climax forest was a forest that had reached an equilibrium.

   This forest didn’t seem quite that old and wrist and ankle sized saplings predominated. Strangely enough, the few really big trees—the ones thirty inches or more in diameter—seemed to be walnut, oak and hickory for the most part—throw in the occasional sycamore or catalpa tree.

   The patches of woods seemed to be in one hundred to three hundred acre plots existing as islands in the midst of large meadows where only the occasional patriarch trees stood alone or two to perhaps five spaced in a line.

   The meadows entertained the occasional tall weed, but they were covered with ten-inch long bluegrass for the most part. Grass that long tended to flop over like an unkempt head of long hair. Since Warn saw no evidence of grazing animals or even occasional mowing or other cultivation, the semi-tended appearance of the forests and meadows was even more puzzling.

   Warn let his feet guide his body and eventually he came to doorway just below the crest of one of the area’s very few hills. There was very little exposed except the doorway itself and a long low tapering and moss covered concrete wing abutment on each side of the door.

   The door was steel or at least iron and it looked massive. No way that Warn could force it and he desperately wanted to see what lay within.

   There was a brass combination dial and Warn tried his name out of a vagrant whim.

   23—“W” was the twenty-third letter of the alphabet, or at least that was what Warn had been led to believe.

   23-1-18-14

   Warn dialed the numbers in, quite naturally, R-L-R-L. Nothing happened, but then he hadn’t really expected anything to happen.

   He rested his right hand on the hilt of the sword hanging on his right side. He thought that he was tripping, but he got a distinct feeling that the sword was trying to guide him, albeit nonverbally, to try the lock L-R-L-R.

   The door swung open to Warn’s complete astonishment.

   Warn eyed the hole dubiously. There might be more eyeless monks inside, or brown-toothed Billy-Bobs, desert camo clad National Guardsmen, inscrutable Gypsies with strange and troubling gifts, or…

   Who was he fooling? He didn’t really expect to meet any of those pests there—though he wouldn’t challenge fate by flat out saying that it wasn’t possible.

   No, no the most horrifying thing in the whole damned world was often found in basements and other cool, moist and damp places. He was afraid there might be slugs in the underground bunker.

   As if in answer to his unvoiced fear, a bright light came on inside the bunker.

   The floor was polished tiles and they appeared bone dry. Warn examined the door from the inside to insure that he was unlikely to be trapped inside.

   Hmm. Come to think of it, the whole damned thing might be an elaborate box trap to catch men.

   He wedged the door open with a chunk of wood and went cautiously inside. There was a tunnel about ten yards long and then the space opened into a round room about thirty-five feet in diameter with four recessed doorways spaced all around leading to other parts of the mysterious compound.

   The room was set up like an oversized living room. There was a five-foot flat screen television and scores of DVD disks. There were multiple bookcases filled with books. There was a small bar with two stools and in addition to a liquor cabinet behind the bar there was one of those dorm refrigerators—one of the slightly larger versions almost three feet tall and about thirty inches wide.

   What caught Warn’s full attention though was a small glass-fronted gun case.

   There were only a handful of guns inside.

   There was a nice Marlin .22 Magnum Bolt Action with a Scout Scope and back-up aperture sight. The .22 Magnum Rifle had an almost identical twin in .22 LR. There was a short double-barreled 12 Gauge.

   A trio of Smith and Wesson revolvers hung with metal rods through their trigger guards. There was a .22 Magnum—a Model 48 with an 8 3/8ths inch barrel and two .357 Magnums. Down at the bottom of the case there was a huge switchblade knife—over six inches long when closed.

   The cabinet wasn’t locked. In a cabinet on the right side of the gun case there was box after box of .22 LR, .22 Magnum, .38 Special, .357 Magnum and 12 Gauge.

   The cabinet on the left side held countless holsters, slings, rifle magazines, revolver speed loaders and 12 gauge 55 round bandoleers.

   Warn took the two .357s and the 12 Gauge along with some ammunition over to the leather couch to examine them more thoroughly.

   One .357 was a big N Frame Smith and Wesson. It had a five-inch barrel. The butt had been rounded and the hammer bobbed.

   Warn compared the revolver to his Ruger .22. They both had stag grips and aftermarket bright nickel. The Smith had a highly polished stainless steel Tyler “T” grip adapter. The little .357 was a model 36—just like the one that he’d wished that he’d had while fighting the blind men. It too had stag grips and a Tyler “T”—as had the long barreled .22 Magnum that he’d left in the case.

   He shotgun had eighteen inch barrels and a short “youth stock” that gave it an eleven-inch pull—even with the modest red recoil pad.

   Warn remembered the old axiom:

   “You’re better off with a stock that’s two inches too short than you are with one that’s a quarter inch too long—and the shorter stock is less cumbersome to carry.”

   The shotgun had sling swivels and a honking big brass front bead—maybe a quarter inch. Like the handguns, it was bright nickel. The stock was highly figured finely checkered curly maple and finished just a bit glossier than most folks preferred.

   Warn decided that he was going to take the two .357s and the 12 Gauge when he left here. The .22s and the bulk of the ammo—far more than he could carry—could stay here as an emergency reserve. Of course someone else might get them, but he couldn’t help that. He didn’t have a wheelbarrow to cart all these things.

   He wondered why the idea of a wheelbarrow full of guns and gear made him laugh hysterically.

   He wasn’t sure if he’d take the switchblade or not. It was such a pretty toy that he hated to subject it to the possibility of damage or loss.

   Like the pistols, it had stag handles. All the metal surfaces gleamed like quicksilver. The spring was powerful and it opened the thick but very sharp blade with a loud and very satisfying “Snick!”

   Warn sat and played with the switchblade unconsciously while pondering the implications of this strange place.

   Fun Guy tired of watching Warn make the strange “Snick!” noise and started to whine. He was hungry.

   Warn walked to the door with his new guns and ammunition. The door was still opened and seemingly escape was still an option.

   With two rounds of 12 Gauge on tap and with eleven rounds of .357 in reserve he wouldn’t have to step out of the way of any gang of blind men—though he’d probably try to give the nutzenheimers whichever three-fourths of the road they wanted—so long as they left him in peace.

   If he didn’t choose to leave now and if the bunker proved some sort of trap, he might regret it bitterly for the rest of his life. But he got good vibes from the underground compound.

   He lived in a world where the smallest miscalculation could get him maimed or killed. Nothing was ever certain. He had to fly by the seat of his pants.

   He carefully closed the door and went back inside. There was a small chest freezer that rolled out from under the bar in addition to the dorm icebox.

   Warn got out a large beef roast—about three inches thick—and he put it into a pan, added water, salt, a small dash of Tabasco and some oregano.

   Though he knew the correct pronunciation, he generally pronounced the word as: “Ar—EE-Gan-O”. He didn’t remember the words to the song that contained the phrase: “Big Jim Dandy to the Rescue” but he remembered he remembered the melody and cadence.

   As he cooked, he generally sang:

   “Oregano to the Rescue;
   “Oregano to the Rescue;
   “Big Oregano to the Rescue!”

   He used a lot of oregano on meat and in vegetables, but it wasn’t as if his cooking—basic as it was—needed rescue from oregano or anything else.

   Nonetheless, Warn sang his nonsensical and monotonous tune about oregano over and over and over as he cooked.

   Warn wished that he had potatoes and carrots to put into the oven with the roast, but while there seemed to be a modest amount of freeze dried cans of food in the cupboards over the stove and running along the counter. But it was unrealistic to expect fresh produce.

   The counter was behind the modest bar and had a microwave, toaster and blender on it. There was a smaller counter at right ends to the first and it had a double sink.

   Warn micro waved some corn dogs and burritos that he’d found in the freezer while Fun Guy and he waited for the roast to cook. After supper, Warn washed the dishes diligently. It was a hateful chore but it wasn’t quite so bad if you didn’t let stuff pile up.

   After his upper settled, Warn found a big enough area in the living room to swing his sword. He was getting some better. Of course he was more mobile than when he began but also, his mind and body were absorbing the techniques a bit more as well.

   When Warn was done with his wrist exercises he got a bright idea. He got into a front leaning rest and did fifteen pushups. It wasn’t that many, but he probably couldn’t have done three or four when he’d started.

   Pushups completed, Warn did some planks and then he did twenty-five sit-ups. He might have done more, but there was no reason to let sit-ups get too far ahead of his pushups.

   The major part of his workout done, Wand sat on the couch and alternated between messing with his spring grip exerciser and opening and closing the switchblade.

   The sword kept sending a picture into Warn’s head. He looked beside the couch and sure enough, there was a non-standard socket in the polished tile floor. Warn held the sword by the scabbard and extended the hilt toward the socket

   When the hilt was about two inches away a brass colored rod came out and the sword gently guided Warn to put the little stud into the floor socket.

   When it was done, the sword stood—point up—without any outside influence.

   “Make yourself at home,” he said to the saber.

   Fun Guy wanted to play and he managed to get Warn bleeding again.

   Warn had seen his own blood before, but he’d never took the time to think about the oddness of it. His blood was red. Warn had no idea what color blood was supposed to be, but bright red seemed an unlikely hue.

   He thought back. The Billy-Bobs and the blind monks had all bled a very blue colored blood. Yet the animals that he’d shot or snared had red blood like his. He wondered what color Fun Guy’s blood was, but he loved the little dog too much to prick him—however lightly—just to see his blood to see his blood.

   Warn was still pondering what color Fun Guys blood was and what color that his should be when he dropped off to sleep.

   ********************* ********************** *******************

   The saber was hooked into some serious power now. This power was no more infinite than any other source that he could tap, but it ran into him quickly and filled him with energy to effect the material word.

   The sword gave Warn’s knee another thirteen degrees of flexure. That still wasn’t quite enough to let warn do quarter squats—but almost. Warn’s right leg regained about a third of the muscle and strength that it needed to be back to one hundred percent.

   He even repaired a bit over a third of the damage to Warns back.

   For the first time the sword went even a bit beyond that. Muscles all over Warns body gained strength—not large amounts—but enough to make a difference.

   Warn was in his fifties. His internal organs were rolled back about fifteen years. His eyesight and his baldhead were rolled back farther. His hearing got the biggest boost of all though.

   Finally the saber’s influence worked its way into Warn’s brain.

   Regenerating one percent of the missing brain cells in Warn’s brain and reconnecting another one percent of the blocked pathways were both trivial and potentially the most reckless thing that had been attempted on Warn yet.

   There were many billions of interconnections among a human’s neurons. Giving Warn one percent of the disconnected part of himself gave him hundreds of millions of new pathways to explore.

   Finally the saber touched Warn’s dreams once more. Warn would remember odd snippets of these dreams.

   For the moment that was all that the sword could do.

   He was soaking in energy in big gulps from the bunker, but Warn’s body would resist too much change to soon. If the sword got too happy repairing and reconnecting Warn’s neurons there was no telling what might result.

   It resolved to improve Warn’s brain one percent per month. After the total of the improvements hit five percent he would slow them down even more.

   The danger was that at some point—no telling at what point—the improvements would be enough that Warn’s brain would start healing Ward’s body and brain much faster and more carelessly than the sword could or wanted to.



.....RVM45              :mellow: :thumbsup: :mellow:
« Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 10:51:38 pm by RVM45 »
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Chapter Five
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2014, 03:25:52 am »

Chapter Five





   Warn found the ambience of the underground compound relaxing.

   There were many branching pathways. Some of them were warded with combination locks on the door. So far the front door was the only one that opened to his name. The combinations to the other locks came to him occasionally. He could only suppose that the time wasn’t ripe for him to look into some of the rooms yet.

   He found a martial arts room with a padded floor and walls and all sorts of paraphernalia: mook jong, heavy bags, speed bags, uppercut bags, double-ended bags, Indian clubs, wooden swords and boken, jump ropes, bouncy balls, medicine balls and what have you.

   There were videos in the central room library that showed mook jong forms and how to train properly on the punching bags.

   Warn worked on punching and slamming the mook jong.

   He only practiced one kick—a knee-high sidekick with his good leg. It was about the only thing that he could do with his bad leg restricting his mobility. It wasn’t just his lack of kicking ability. He also had to take into account his lack of ability to recover his balance quickly with one leg stiff—and still weak, though very much improved.

   There was a fifty-yard indoor range with huge fans to circulate the air out of the range area and outside. Given the huge amount of stored .357, .22 and 12 gauge ammunition Warn thought that it behooved him to refine his marksmanship.

   There was a set of DVDs where Jeff Cooper taught the Modern Technique of the pistol. There were also some videos on weapon retention, revolver marksmanship and gunsmithing the Smith and Wesson revolver.

   There was even an archery range including some 3-D targets and Warn learned to shoot both bow and arrows and the crossbow.

   Warn watched videos on lock smithing and lock picking, swordsmanship, combat use of the tomahawken, knife fighting, joint locks, nonverbal communication—a whole bunch of stuff.

   There were educational tutorials on mathematics and electronics, computer programming and hacking—even things like machining and carpentry. Then there were educational documentaries on History, Impressionist Art, String Theory,    Higg’s Bosons, Fractals, the Riemann Conjecture and other things.

   Some of the educational stuff was entertaining but it all seemed too obscure to be of much use. Warn continued to watch them for fun though, not knowing that they were exercising his mind.

   Then there were movies and television shows meant for nothing but entertainment.

   The very first movie that Warn watched was “The Matrix” because he remembered the part about hearing inevitability. He had soon watched “The Roadwarrior”, the original “Red Dawn”, all three of the “Lord of The Rings” movies, “Silverado” and “The Outlaw Josie Wales”.

   He soon realized that the weapon handling in the movies was generally ludicrous and none of the far-fetched scenarios resonated with relevance to Warn’s world—but then again, Warn knew next to nothing about his world.

   Warn had been staying in the bunker over six weeks. He practiced the saber and long sword forms that he’d seen in the videos and gleaned from the books. He swung the Indian clubs with a will.

   Warn did four sets of thirty push-ups now—alternating them with four sets of fifty sit-ups. It wasn’t exceptional but it was a big improvement from the fifteen shaky push-ups that he’d struggled to get his first night in the bunker.

   There was a weight room in the bunker, but Warn mostly stayed away. Something told him that heavy full squats were the fountainhead and the cornerstone of exceptional strength. He’d never be much of a strongman unless and until he could squat.

   He’d lost another five pounds. His bad leg had almost thirty-five degrees of movement and his bad leg had regained about sixty percent of the muscle that it had lost.

   Three percent of his damaged or destroyed brain cells were replaced or fully regenerated. About fifteen percent of the repressed neural pathways were well on the way to being re-established. Many partially damaged brain cells were now partly restored too—some almost to normal, while others were only marginally improved—but still improved.

   Some of the improved brain cells were still destined for total replacement before Warn would be one hundred percent again, but having them five, or twenty-five or sixty-seven percent better in the interim boosted the brain power that Warn could bring to bear at the moment.

   It made it hard to gauge exactly how far along Warn’s brain and mind recovery was.

   Warn was wary of a “Hungry Trap”. He wasn’t sure there was such a thing in real life—not to trap rats anyway. A half-starved hungry rat could get into the trap easily enough, but a well-fed bloated fat rat could not fit through the door to leave.

   He was still wary lest the bunker prove a hungry trap.

   Warn went for a walk every day. He went farther in three or four hours now than he’d been covering in a whole day when he’d first arrived. It got Warn and Fun Guy out into the fresh air and sunshine. It was good exercise and Fun Guy especially needed outdoor time occasionally if at all possible. It kept Warn in shape and in training to move when necessary…

   It also meant that Warn had a bit of a handle on what was going on in the immediate neighborhood.

   Warn was reluctant to be separated from his rock-bottom supplies almost to the point of mania. It was a prudent mania though. If someone took over or repossessed the bunker—or even if they simply cut Warn off from having easy access—Warn had everything that he’d had when he first come to the bunker plus a bit more.

   Stalking through the bush humping seventy some odd pounds of food and gear was even better exercise than walking lightly unencumbered.

   ************************ *********************** *****************

   Today, for no reason that Warn could really name, he walked far farther than he usually did on his daily jaunts.

   When Warn noticed that the shadows were getting long and he hadn’t even started back, he decided to pitch camp. He shrugged and wondered why he’d come so far. It didn’t really matter. He could use a bit of practice setting up camp.

   Warn fixed a hearty supper for him and Fun Guy. There was plenty more victuals back at the bunker, so he wasn’t particularly frugal—though outright waste and extravagance was an anathema to Warn—particularly now.

   ********************* ****************** ************************

   In the morning something caused Warn to feel that he had to take an out-of-the-way detour.

   Fun Guy started barking frantically.

   Warn hop-stepped into a recent campsite. There was a man lying on the ground and moaning.

   The man’s eyes had been burnt and reamed out with a fat burning coal on the end of a thick stick. He’d also been stabbed in the abdomen several times. The bright blue blood lay all around.

   The man held a small patch of lime green fabric while he had something else concealed in his clenched fist.

   “Did those damned blind monks do this to you?” Warn asked.

   “Yeah,” the man ground out between clenched teeth.

   “I ran into thirteen of them a few weeks ago.”

   “And…?”

   “I killed them all deader than Judas Iscariot. Why’d they kill you? I thought that they only blinded folk.”

   “Once you’re blinded you have to swear fealty to their demon patron. I’m a Christian, so I refused. The other three swore. One of them was my wife,” the man gasped out.

   “You’ll be meeting Jesus soon my friend. If it still seems the least bit important when you’re on the other side, ask him to send me strength and wisdom.

   “I’m sure that he’ll appreciate your loyalty,” Warn told him gently.

   Warn filled a large syringe with morphine.

   “Friend, this is a powerful painkiller to folk like me with red blood. It might be poison to you. You only have minutes left in any case. Do you want to chance it?” Warn asked.

   “Yes. You have red blood?”

   “Yeah,” Warn said as he deftly shot the morphine into the man’s jugular.

   With so much blood lost, it might well take too long to act if injected into an extremity.

   “Hemoglobin is identical to chlorophyll, except where chlorophyll has a single atom of magnesium, hemoglobin has an iron atom. If it were a copper atom, hemoglobin would be yellow-green.

   “Do you know what kind of metal is in your blood?” Warn asked.

   “I say! I say! That pain killer that you gave me is outstanding in every way,” the dying man said enthusiastically.

   “Cobalt—our blood is colored by a cobalt compound, but it is not a hemoglobin analogue.

   “Red blood? How I wish that I could see some. Jesus lived back in the days of red-blooded humans.

   “Do you think that he cares about us?”

   “Sure thing. The Bible says, ‘Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

   “Doesn’t leave much room for ambiguity does it?”

   “You’ve actually seen a Bible?” the dying man asked in amazement.

   “I have one right here,” Warn said.

    “I’ve read it several times,” Warn said while placing it in the man’s hands.

   “What is that in your hand?” Warn asked.

   “That’s the ear of the Head monk. I bit it off as he blinded me,” the man said as he died.

   Warn sat and thought momentarily. All he really needed to do for decency’s sake was to mount the poor man’s head on a stake close to where he fell. It was as Christian a burial as any other—but the man was brave and a fellow Christian and Warn wanted to do more than the bare minimum.

   Warn cut a couple saplings. He used some perfectly good paracord making a primitive cross and then drove it into the ground. He sharpened the center post until he could post his recently deceased friend’s skull on the top of the cross.

   He removed the man’s shoes and set them beside the makeshift cross. Come resurrection day the man wouldn’t have to greet Jesus barefoot, he thought.

   Warn thought of the old time atheists who had left orders to be cremated—thus supposedly making it a logical impossibility for God to resurrect them on Judgment Day. He’d even heard of some Christians who feared that it might be impious to be cremated and thus oblige God to work harder than necessary to resurrect them.

   People such as that had no concept of omnipotence. Omnipotence must of a necessity operate outside of ordinary human reason or logic. Omnipotence can be vaguely alluded to, but it cannot be fully apprehended even as an abstract concept.

   Warn was no more able to comprehend the full meaning of omnipotence than any other mortal man, but at least he was aware of that particular blind spot.

   Odds were that some beast would drag the skull off the makeshift cross before the week was out. The skull and the cross and the shoes would soon be dissolved into their individual essences. It was even quite probable that the same carbon, calcium, and oxygen—what have you—atoms would be laid to rest in more than one human body in their long career here on Earth.

   And God would still resurrect each and every one on Judgment Day—the ones who hadn’t already been resurrected at the Rapture.

   Time would cease one day, but while there was such a thing as time, it was largely illusionary. Everything was always happening in a very real sense.

   Warn would always stand beside his friend’s cross paying his last respects. He would be there so long as time lasted and so would his attempts at memorializing a brave man.

   Skulls were worthy of a small measure of decorum, although when you got right down to it any part of a dead body is only so much garbage.

   It was the way of Warn’s people to leave bodies where they fell out in rural areas where they wouldn’t stink up the place or get in the way.

   After thinking long and hard, Warn carefully amputated both the corpse’s hands. That was one more very rare tribute sometimes paid to the bravest of men. Warn intended to make a necklace of the man’s finger bones.

         **************************** ****************** *********************
   
« Last Edit: August 03, 2014, 10:29:56 am by RVM45 »
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Re: Saber
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2014, 03:26:37 am »

************************ ********************** *********************

   Warn caught up to the blind monks. It was no great feet of tracking to trail almost eighty blind monks.

   They had five columns travelling in parallel. How the blind monks found their way in the trackless forest was a mystery to Warn.

   Warn asked himself what was the best way to proceed. He didn’t care to risk even the slightest possibility of the monks swarming him. They weren’t all that good with their staves, but they were preternaturally good for blind men.

   Warn wished fervently that he had an AR set up for long-range shooting. He’d even be pleased to have the scoped .22 Magnum that he’d left back in the bunker like an ass. With either of those weapons, he could tear the monks to shreds from a safe distance.

   His skill with a Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum would necessitate him getting far closer to the lime green psychopaths than he cared to.

   Warn ranged far ahead and picked his spot.

   The hillock was just elevated enough that Warn could fire from rollover prone and be no more than twenty yards from his clients.

   Warn remembered a Ruger Blackhawk in .30 Carbine caliber. It had a seven and a half inch barrel—as did all Rugers in that caliber. He never had the gun long enough to get it bright nickeled or to get stag grips for it, but he could remember firing it at one hundred yards from rollover prone and busting one clay bird after another with it.

   Warn wished that he had the .30 Carbine Ruger now. Two and a half more inches of barrel, a lighter recoiling and flatter shooting caliber and a single action trigger would all contribute to greater one hundred yard accuracy.

   You could, in theory, shoot a double action revolver single action—but you didn’t. It was unspeakably gauche. It was better to miss if it came right down to it than adopt the mannerisms of a boor.

   Warn lined up his sights. He only had a limited window of opportunity as the monks crossed a narrow clearing. He assumed that when they realized that he was shooting at them that they would pick up the pace.

   He fired six shots at a reasonable cadence and saw six monks go down, but one climbed back to his feet unsteadily.

   Warn dumped his brass unceremoniously and reloaded.

   When he looked up every monk still able to stand had headed toward Warn’s hillock. The closest were no more than ten yards away from the base of Warn’s hillock.

   “That’s not good,” Warn heard his own voice dimly through his earplugs.

   He shot the six closest monks. It was much easier to aim when the targets were so close.

   He took out two more with his shotgun. He reloaded his shotgun then his revolver. Ordinarily he’d have tried to save his speed loader, but with the monks almost at arm’s reach, devil take that speed loader.

   He slung the shotgun, drew his saber left handed and prepared to make a precipitous exit.

   As Warn galloped down the far side of the little hill, he encountered a monk who seemed to have beaten all the others around to the backside of the hill to try to cut off Warn’s retreat.

   The monk stood with his quarterstaff in a good bayonet fighter’s position.

   “That wasn’t how they actually used those,” Warn had time to think.

   It wasn’t a bad stance for a blind monk trying to block as much of an area as possible though.

   One of the one hundred and twenty-five grain hollow points from the .357 Magnum would almost certainly drop the monk, but it would certainly draw the others to their position far more quickly than they otherwise would and it would waste a round that Warn might desperately need in a moment.

   Warn had turned an ankle trotting down the hill at such a precipitous pace. At the moment, Warn couldn’t travel much faster than a blind monk.

   Warn watched for an opening to take the monk out fast, before he could cry out to the others.

   The monk sensed Warn’s nearness. He wasn’t giving Warn an opening. He moved continuously.

   Warn saw several opportunities to take all four fingers off one or the other of the monk’s hands or to run the man through. As soon as he did though, the monk would bellow like a calf caught unprotected in a hailstorm and all the monks would be headed in Warn’s direction.

   They’d both reckoned without Fun Guy. Fun Guy grabbed the monk’s ankle and tore at it viciously. As the monk turned to strike at Fun Guy with his staff, Warn took his head off and got sprayed with cobalt blue gore.

   Two more monks were vaguely loitering in the general area. Warn come in at an angle and beheaded the first of the pair. The second heard the swish of Warn’s blade though.

   The man’s downward blow barely caught Warn’s nose—but it caught it hard enough to break it even as it skimmed by and then it caught Warn’s lower lip, busting it open as well.

   “Pond and Honour!” Warn expostulated as blood flowed down his throat.

   He aimed a vicious backhand slash at a point just above the monk’s knee and cleanly severed the leg.

   The monk screamed blue-bloody murder, but Warn was into the relative open and limping briskly towards some trees that he hoped would give him some advantage.

   Warn got back to where he’d dropped his pack. He’d hoped to take a moment to tape his ankle and then hobble out of Dodge.

   Two monks though, with an uncanny ability for blind men, had located his gear and were standing guard over it though, waiting for him to return.

   Warn was all out of both patience and stealth.

   He shot first one then the other monk with loads of twelve 00 buckshot in each shot.  Of course that would draw monks from every which direction, but he’d gained a small breathing space—or so he thought—certainly not enough time to tape his poor ankle, but maybe long enough to prepare a pain shot…

   He paused to look around.

   Monks were coming toward his position from every point on the compass. Apparently the group that he’d been trailing was but one small part of the monks converging into this approximate area.

   “They’re like porking army ants!” Warn said aloud.

   He had no time for the faster working IV injection. Instead Ward swallowed two amphetamine capsules and two morphine tablets. He washed them down with a large but quick swallow of water. Then he popped one of each into his mouth along with a thick chunk of gum and started chewing.

   If he was still alive in twenty minutes to a half hour from now, the pills would be a big help. If not, then it really wouldn’t matter. The pills that he was chewing might get there a little faster, then again, maybe not.

   “Fun Guy, stay close. Don’t fight unless we have to and try to be quiet,” Warn told his only living friend.

   He glanced quickly at his watch. Three and a half minutes down so far—sixteen and a half to go.

   He sheathed the sword, reloaded his shotgun and reholstered his big .357 Magnum.

   Warn tried to move as silently as possible all the while leaning heavily on the blackthorn walking stick that he’d began leaving lashed to his pack lately. He needed it now though.

   Warn went as silently as he could through briars, brambles and sticker bushes. He knew that it was a natural human characteristic to follow the path of least resistance. If he moved counter intuitively enough…

   He looked at his watch once more. Twenty-seven minutes and forty-seven seconds since he’d finished putting the canteen away from washing down those pills. Pain relief and extra chemical energy should be arriving just any time now.

   He was kneeling in a huge patch of wild blackberry vines and there were no monks in sight. It looked like he might make it.

   “Remind me again,” Warn said silently to himself.

   “Why was it necessary to engage the monks in armed conflict? Did God put me on this Earth to be a flyswatter?

   “I should have just let those crazy bastards go on their merry way. Then I could have gone mine.

   “How are you doing Fun Guy?” he asked the small dog.

   He took the time to put a support on his ankle—a quick and hasty one. He’d seen them make an ankle support from a Boy Scout’s neckerchief in an old Boy Scout manual once. The square of cloth that he used was a bit bigger than the scout’s neckerchief—by design.

   Warn’s ankles were a good bit thicker than a boy’s and he’d wanted a bit more than bare minimal support.

   There were still no monks in sight so Warn got out a quick energy bar and got out one for Fun Guy—making sure that Fun Guy’s energy bar had no chocolate in it.

   His pills flowing through his bloodstream while his ankle was now braced reasonably well and the blind monks were becoming ever scarcer, Warn’s spirits started to pick up a bit.



.....RVM45            :mellow: :thumbsup: :mellow:

    

 
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Re: Saber
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2014, 03:09:38 pm »

Chapter Six




   Warn decided not to make a fire that night. He didn’t suppose that it made any difference to the crazy eyeless monks whether it was day or night. He didn’t want to lead them to him by the smell of a fire.

   He ate a whole can of spam and fed one to Fun Guy. Then he dug out some cheese and hard tack and sat and munched on it as well as sharing it.

   He didn’t have a whole lot of water left so he chewed each piece very carefully.

   Warn had very few personal memories, but as he sat chewing his food far more than he usually cared to—largely from want of anything more edifying to occupy his time—an unpleasant memory intruded itself on his awareness.

   Several times in his life he’d remarked that he didn’t see how coffee, wine or liquor could be considered an appropriate mealtime beverage, since there wasn’t sufficient volume to “Wash your food down.”

   And each time his mother had jumped in and stated flatly in a highly hissed-off self-righteous tone of voice:

   “If you’d chew your food,” putting a very strong emphasis on the word “Chew”,  “You wouldn’t have to wash it down.”

   She didn’t add, “You damned fool!” but the addendum was obvious in her tone of voice and her angry expression.

   And the first couple times Warn was taken unaware and he wondered if his mother could possibly be that stupid, or if she was grooving on being as hateful and disagreeable as possible.

   Afterward, he deliberately repeated his exact words months apart just to test his hypothesis. Every time she’d answered exactly the same—word for word—like a Stepford wife caught in a loop.

   Somebody really had to be a fanatic about extreme chewing to leap to the same erroneous conclusion each and every time they were exposed to the exact same stimulus.

   It felt good to swallow a big half-chewed piece of meat and have it hang up momentarily halfway down—but he’d been preached at so many times about chewing, that swallowing a satisfying sized piece of meat seemed almost sinful.

   But if you swallowed a modest sized piece of meat or sandwich and then gave it the bum’s rush with five or six ounces of beverage, it would balk and give the same satisfaction as a very big bite.

   He didn’t want to wash his food down because he didn’t chew it enough. He felt the need to wash it down because he had chewed it—too much for his gustatory satisfaction.

   And how many years had his mother been dead? And why was he still getting angry with her—no matter how richly she deserved it—all these years later?

   When had his mother died? Warn had no idea. He was just reasonably sure that she was no longer alive.

   Could he bring one other memory of his mother to mind?

   Come to think of it, he could not.

   He couldn’t have told if she were tall or short, fair or dark, thin or stout. He couldn’t recall her name or her eye or hair color.

   He was left with the feeling that while she could be a very difficult person to get along with that on the balance he’d loved her. That didn’t mean that he hadn’t often held her ability to reason logically in serious contempt.

   But he couldn’t think of a single other instance to buttress or assault his analysis, try though he might.

   Warn took far less morphine than he’d have liked to have taken. His ankle throbbed and he was sore all over as well as having sticker bush thorns in assorted parts of his anatomy. He was afraid to take too much of the painkiller though, for fear that he wouldn’t wake if the monks found his hidey-hole.

   He drifted in and out of uneasy sleep for about five hours. He couldn’t recall ever having been so miserable.

   He kept reaching out and grasping his saber’s grip with his strong left hand.

   ********************** ********************* **************************

   The saber was in a quandary. He would have liked to see at least another year go by before things came to this pass—if indeed, they must come to such a pass at all.

   There was no help for it now. The saber used Warn’s exhaustion and the effects of the drugs to work some massive changes in Warn’s body.

   Warn’s leg gained more degrees of flexibility during those five fitful hours as it had in the whole rest of the time Warn had had the sword. Fair-sized pieces of protoplasm were kneaded and moved around like a potter modeling clay.

   The leg had just been able to bend to the quarter-squat position. Now it could go slightly below the half-squat position—meaning that it still lacked another forty or fifty degrees of flex, but in the range that rarely mattered running, walking or lunging with a saber.

   The muscle was now almost as strong and thick as it had ever been—stronger in the over-developed right calf.

   The saber wiped over half the damage that still remained in Warn’s back away.

   Places where Warn had been uncommonly strong or flexible—aside from the bad knee and back—the sword quickened the flesh and restored most—though not quite all—of Warn’s former capabilities.

   Warn was highly influenced by the sword even before he drifted off to sleep. He hadn’t fully realized the Brobdingnagian quantities of protein and carbohydrate he’d consumed. It had been enough to cause him to drink over three liters of water along with his food.

   The extra muscle, bone and connective tissue had to come from somewhere. The sword burned over fifteen pounds of fat during its five hour healing spree—though truth be told, it healed rapidly by speeding up the passage of time in some areas.

   Warn was leaner now than he’d ever been—even back during high school wrestling.

   Warn woke with an irresistible urge to urinate. He couldn’t ever remember having such a long bladder evacuation. He had about another half-pint of water left and he used it to wash another morphine pill down.

   Then he got into his pack and got out several of the high-energy bars—about twenty-four hundred calories worth. He shared a bar with Fun Guy.

   Fun Guy had had an even more miserable night than Warn, if that were possible. He knew that Warn’s sleep was troubled. He could feel the sword’s unchanciness, but he had no capability to accept that the force all around him and Warn was benevolent.

   ************** ******************* *************************
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There are only Two Types of People in the World:

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RVM45

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Re: Saber
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2014, 03:10:38 pm »

****************** ******************** *****************

His superior senses told him that there were haints wandering the night that were far more malevolent and unchancy that the relatively relaxed haint in Warn’s sword.

   Warn was fully dressed in case he needed to vacate the scene quickly. He noted with some surprise that his sprained ankle was as good as new. Having no idea how much his metabolism had been speeded up during his half sleep, he assumed that the ankle hadn’t been as badly injured as he’d originally thought.

   It was 3:00 am and Warn felt too thirsty to wait until dawn to try to satisfy his thirst.

   “I need to try to find some water,” Warn thought. “My mouth is as dry as all Hell.”

   “No, you don’t need to be going for water right now,” the sword responded firmly inside his mind.

   The sword had replaced another fifteen percent of Warn’s damaged brain cells—far more than he had ever intended to replace at one time. Of course the sword triaged and replaced the most damaged cells first. He also rewove some of Warn’s neural pathways—and just as the last time, some of the remaining damaged cells were quickened to greater capability—however short of one hundred percent that each of them might still be.

   One result was that it was now far easier for the sword to talk to Waen.

   “If you’ve ever trusted me, trust me now,” the saber said.

   “Lay as low as you can. Breath in and out as slowly and silently as possible. Keep the dog silent if you value you life.”

   Warn’s eyes widened is astonishment. There were two cyborgs looking all around for traces of Warn. Each one had a night vision optic permanently mounted over the right eye. Each one had an oversized mechanical right arm. They both carried some sort of oversized military style detachable box magazine rifles and a green sighting laser played all over the landscape. The laser seemed to originate from a small cupola mounted atop the bald and largely metal-covered head.

   “I’m not in Kansas anymore?” Warn silently asked the saber.

   “No, you’re not in Kansas. When were you ever?” The sword shot back.

   “I’ve been through Kansas a couple or three times,” Warn protested.

   “Actually, no you haven’t—but going with your original assumption—with almost six decades of living, you have spent less than seventy-two hours in Kansas.

   “Does that satisfy you?” the sword shot back.

   “Why are we wasting time with this?” Warn asked.

   The saber gave a mental shrug and drew Warn’s attention back to the right hand cyborg that his eye had settled on. The haint was moving at a normal slow-walking pace and it hadn’t moved an inch during the whole prolonged exchange.

   “Your mind has gone into hyper-drive. That is potentially helpful but also a potential source of trouble. You aren’t truly ready for it yet—but you may need it to survive.

   “Your mental banter helped ease you into what can be a very scary situation.”

   “What, being hunted by cyborgs?”

   “No, having whole realms of mental ability open up abruptly. You’re on your own dealing with any fear the cyborgs may inspire,” the sword told him pedantically.

   “We are the Son’s of Cowards…” Warn began the litany.

   Being brave meant to be fearless, but fear is a natural phenomena. By the time one grows old enough to have destroyed fear, he has nonetheless experienced.

   Hence no man can really be said to be brave. Bravery was like virginity. Once on experienced fear, he was a coward—forever and in perpetuity.

   What was left was a fierce bitter rage at the emotion that had forever rendered one a being without value.

   Warn gritted his teeth together so hard that they were in danger of breaking. Somehow the sword missed Warn’s dangerous change in mood.

   “It’s a good thing that these units aren’t equipped with olfactory—at least not strong olfactory—or they’d smell the urine…”

   Warn had drawn the saber and charged the right hand cyborg. He hit it three times from behind before the surprised cyborg could turn around. Nonetheless, Warn’s cuts to the creature’s head and arms did little more than put a couple minor dings in the metal surface.

   As the cyborg turned the sword sent a frantic message into Warn’s mind. He thrust the saber two feet into a chink in the creature’s armor and yanked the sword back and forth viciously before pulling it free.

   As the wrecked cyborg fell, Warn grabbed its oversized rifle from the air, shouldered it and fired a three shot burst into the remaining cyborg.

   The weapon made firing a .50 BMG caliber rifle from the shoulder seem tame by comparison. Blood started from Warn’s nose and ears and he suffered a mild recoil concussion like the old time elephant hunters sometimes experienced.

   Warn dropped the useless rifle. It was far too heavy to carry any distance and it was almost as damaging to the shooter as it was to the target.

   “What in Hell was that about?” the saber demanded.

   “I have felt fear, ergo I am a coward. The cyborgs reminded me that I’m a coward,” Warn raged.

   “Well come on, we need to vacate this place,” the saber commanded.

   “Where is Fun Guy?” Warn demanded.

   He looked all around frantically and then picked up the huge rifle once more.

   “If any harm has come to Fun Guy I will march into the middle of those knob-gobbler’s black Sabbath and carve the memory of my discontent into every last one of them,” Warn raved.

   “That would be suicide,” the sword objected.

   “You’re not much of a sword,” Warn countered. “Haven’t you ever read the ‘Hagakure’?

   “’Cowards theorize with the goal of staying alive firmly in mind.’” Warn paraphrased to the strangely cautious sword.

   Meanwhile the sword tried something that had never occurred to it before. It sent its psychic probes out into the world searching for the small dog.

   “Ah yes!” the sword exulted to himself. “Contact!”

   The sword summoned the small dog.

   “He’s coming. Look, you’re going to have to travel hard and fast if you’re going to survive.

   “Those cyborgs aren’t particularly fleet of foot. If you can get out of their field of operation, they’ll break off pursuit. You can limp fast enough and I can guide you around them—but it’s going to take concerted effort,” the sword said.

   “Maybe I’ll await them here,” Warn said.

   “What will become of Fun Guy if you do that?” the sword asked.

   The sword reflected glumly as Warn followed his directions.

   Warn wasn’t exactly sane, the sword reflected. On the other hand, with all the stress and stimulus—including the sword’s own ham-handed dabbling—that Warn’s brain had been subjected to, it wasn’t at all remarkable.

   Bererkers and suicidal rages were far from the worst-case scenario that could result from such outside kibitzing.

   “What in hell is going on?” Warn demanded.

   “I have some very sketchy memories of late twentieth century life. Those cyborgs aren’t from the twentieth century though—nor the twenty-first either.

   “Magic swords that seem as much cyber as mystic, a societal collapse that doesn’t leave any corpses or other visible signs, humanoids with blue blood, cults who gouge folks eyes out and who seem at least marginally better able to function blind than true humans could—none of it makes real sense.”

   “Warn, there are questions that you won’t even think to ask nor could you rightfully entertain the answers until you are more restored.

   “That compound that you’ve come to enjoy so much is yours. It is shielded from your enemies.

   “You need to concentrate on making our way there undetected. After a good night’s sleep—during which I’ll open yet some more of your brain…

   “Then we’ll talk,” the sword promised.



.....RVM45        :mellow: :thumbsup: :mellow:
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There are only Two Types of People in the World:

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B.} Folks who Are Not after my Guns.

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Re: Saber
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2014, 08:17:18 pm »

good stuff...keep it up.
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RVM45

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Re: Saber
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2014, 04:50:39 pm »

Chapter Seven





   Warn would always remember the hours between his attack on the cyborgs and sunrise as one of the most numinous and psychedelic experiences of his life.

   He was wired on amphetamine and morphine. He’d had brain cells replaced with brand new brain cells. He’d had every cell in his brain quickened to various degrees—the variation itself being highly disorientating. He’d had neural pathways that had been deliberately blocked partially unblocked.

   The sword was a talented and skillful artist, but even so, its heavy-handed activities had spun off all sorts of psychological cyclones inside the interface between Warn’s hardware and software.

   He’d suffered pain, exhaustion and preternatural recuperation. Now he was seeing things that he could scarcely credit.

   Warn moved as silently and as quickly as he could. He’d had stealth subroutines in his repertoire of skills and he was accessing that skill set naturally now without even trying.

   The sword had increased Warn’s night vision to about a hundred and eighty percent of the best human night-sight and Warn was hearing at about twice the gain of the best human hearing.

   There were other upgrades—in his sense of smell, his balance, his ability to sense magnetic fields or mental energy—but all those were very subtle and unimportant at the moment compared to Warn’s increased night vision and hearing.

   Warn had no idea that his senses had been enhanced. There were a number of software hacks that the human visual system could use to see better in reduced light and Warn was using all of them. He simply saw better and farther with the jacked-up vision than he otherwise would—almost identical to what he would have seen with his old vision if there had been just a bit more light.

   There were cyborgs stalking hither and yon all through the psychedelic landscape.

   The cyborgs that swept the woods with green lasers seemed to be of a kind with the two Warn had slain. They had one cybernetic arm noticeably bigger than the other and it gave them somewhat the aspect of a fiddler crab. The size difference between their arms wasn’t anywhere near that pronounced though.

   There were cyborgs who mounted blue laser sights and who seemed to possess two oversized arms.

   The cyborgs with red lasers were the most variable. Some of them looked almost human. Some looked like badly sculpted armored tin men. Some of them seemed little more that three-foot robotic cylinders equipped with treads or ground effects.

   When they caught anything that remotely looked like a human being in their headlights, they blasted it with heavy volumes of very powerful bullets—though some of the cylinders seemed to be fitted with grenade launchers.

   Warn remembered reading about the little grenades made in Norway—or somewhere in Scandinavia. They were small—a bit smaller than a golf-ball. They were also a bit anemic with a fifty-percent casualty radius of only three meters compared to a full-sized grenade’s five-meter fifty-percent casualty zone.

   Still, pound for pound they were efficient. He’d read that they were popular with army Rangers and navy SEALS because they could carry quite a few and still travel light.

   Of course you had to take most of what was said about elite military forces with a healthy amount of skepticism.

   Be all that as it may.

   Warn found it highly motivating to see one of the articulated trash cans fire a five or six round burst of mini-grenades at some rustle in the bushes at about six hundred rounds per minute. It inspired him to avoid rustling the bushes and it inspired him to try hard to quit the area of operations expeditiously.

   “What in the Hell is going on here?” Warn thought fiercely at the sword.

   “I am not entirely sure myself. I recognize the workmanship on those cyborgs and I heartily advise against letting them capture you alive,” the saber answered him.

   “Concentrate on avoiding them right now,” the sword added.

   “Thank you for your valuable comment,” Warn told the cryptic sword.

   He wasn’t terribly concerned about the prospects of being taken alive—not the way his pursuers were blasting away at everything that moved. Indeed, he’d have been hard pressed to surrender peacefully had that been his intention.

   Warn and Fun Guy reached the shore of a good-sized lake.

   “The sun is rising. The cyborgs have excellent night vision. It’s far beyond human, but even they see better in daylight.

   “They are also starting to scan for heat signature. I’m surprised that they hadn’t started already.

   “Do you trust me?” the sword asked.

   The saber sent a picture into Warn’s mind. The lake was cold and the lake was deep. There was a piece of tubing in Warn’s kit—five foot long, three-quarters of an inch on the inside diameter and highly flexible.

   The tube could be turned into a five-foot long rigid snorkel allowing Warn to lay at the lake’s bottom in the shallows and be completely invisible to his pursuers.

   “Breathing through such a long tube with water pressure pushing all against my ribs will be very fatiguing—if it’s even possible,” Warn objected.

   “Trust me, you’re rated for it,” the sword answered.

   “I can’t take the cold for over a minute or two.”

   “I’ll put you into a state of aestivation,” the sword assured him.

   “What about Fun Guy?” Warn asked.

   “Drown the dog or set him free,” the sword said.

   “Skew you and your quadrupedal means of transportation!” Warn told the sword.

   He looked long and hard at the sword’s hilt. For the first time since he’d had the sword, he seriously considered discarding it. He pictured flinging it far out into the lake.

   Instead he took inspiration from the sword’s suggestion.

   He would need to steep himself in the icy waters of the lake and then have enough strength to run and make his way home.

   ***************** ********************* *******************

   The cyborg watched a tree float past. There were a couple of thick branches that stuck up out of the water at an angle.

   There was no pattern recognition program in the cyborg’s programming that would have told it that the interwoven pattern of leafy maple fronds was out of place on the hickory log, but it did sense heat coming from behind the leafy screen.

   It was a heat spot consistent with a man’s head as he shielded himself behind the screen as he kept his head above water and drove the tree on by swimming.

   Or perhaps it was the heat signature of a small dog lying obediently on the log as it floated too briskly in the still lake.

   The cyborg targeted the leafy screen with an eighty-round blast from a weapon that amounted to an improved M-60 Belt-Fed Machinegun upsized to .460 Weatherby.

   About a third of the rounds were inches too low and chewed the Hell out of the trunk while sending large chunks of bark and wood splinters spalling in all directions—most significantly from the cyborg’s viewpoint were the chunks that might strike the source of warmth behind the leafy screen.

   Of course the two-thirds of the burst that wasn’t aimed at the trunk largely made the flying splinters irrelevant.

   The cyborgs were programmed to be highly redundant in some things though.

   The first cyborg—after pausing momentarily to let its barrel cool—started strafing the log with short five-round bursts. It gradually worked its point of aim from one end of the log to the other.

   There were a half a dozen more cyborgs targeting the log within seconds. There were two more cyborgs with the .460 type rounds. Three of the cyborgs had smaller caliber but much faster firing Machineguns that were roughly equivalent to the old .338 Magnum.

   One of them had the extremely powerful semi-automatic rifle of the type that Warn had found so disquieting to shoot.

   Several more cyborgs showed up, including a couple of the grenade launching variety. Soon the water in front and behind the floating tree trunk was thoroughly chewed up. Then came the flamethrowers.

   The cyborgs didn’t stop until the log was naught but splinters floating in a soapy scum. The odds of anything living through that barrage were minimal.

   ***************** ******************* ********************

   “Stupid knob-gobblers,” Warn told Fun Guy as they huddled and shivered in the shallow water in amongst the cattails.

   As soon as the cyborg started shooting at the log, Warn had dropped the rope that he’d used to pull the log from a distance.

   It had been a calculated risk to make a quick fire in a Dakota hole, bring a quart and a half in the stainless steel pot. Once the water was boiling, he’d put the watertight top on it and wrapped the scalding hot utensils into a wool blanket.

   He’d removed the blanket and covered the heated pot with a thick coating of leaves once he’d fixed it to the tree.

   That blanket had gotten thoroughly wet and Warn had no time to warm it or strength to carry the water-soaked burden. He sank the wet blanket in the water with a sigh of regret.

   As soon as all the cyborgs were fixated on their mad-minute directed at the floating log, Warn left the water while cradling Fun Guy in one arm. He hurried to fix his remaining wool blanket—the one still dry—as a blanket cloak.

   It wasn’t terrible cool and the day would warm rapidly as the sun rose. At the moment though, Warn and Fun Guy were very chilled. The water in the lake was very cold—almost glacial—for some obscure reason.

   The chill would work to Warn’s advantage while his skin was so chilled. He’d have a very feeble IR signature. On the other hand, he was chilled stiff.

   “Buddy, I know that you’re cold and miserable. I’d like to sit and hold you until we’re both warmed up—but that isn’t a great idea with all the clink-clank men around.

   “I’m gonna run and you’re going to have to keep up with me. Does that sound like something that you can do?”

   For once in his life, Warn had ditched much of his gear. He’d left a whole brick of .22 LR Ammo behind along with another one or two hundred loose .22 rounds. He’d left most of his .357 Magnum as well. He had the eleven rounds in his revolvers and sixty more—enough to reload the six –shooter ten times or the five-shooter twelve. If he didn’t get back to base, he wasn’t likely to need anymore .357.

   He still had an unopened brick of .22 LR and the multiple loaded magazines for the Ruger Mark II pistol.

   He left his Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel and his tomahawken. He even left most of his food. He had enough for a light dinner followed by a big supper and then he was foodless.

   The coffee was worthless without a means to boil water so he left that, but he held onto his sugar grimly.

   Physically, his new improved leg was quite capable of letting him trot at a survival pace, though it wasn’t quite flexible or strong enough yet for sprinting. Not that sprinting would be much use in the dense forest.

   Running, even at the most sedate pace was something Warn hadn’t attempted for a long time. He hadn’t been even remotely capable of running either, so far as that went.

   Warn found that he was mentally rusty as well as physically withered. He found it a painful ordeal to jog through the woods and across the intermittent pastures with Fun Guy running alongside him and sometimes ranging a bit ahead.

   Warn heard a yelp and looked ahead to see Fun Guy held by one leg by one of the cyborgs.

   “Drop your weapons…” was all the cyborg had time to say before Warn plowed into it with all the fury in his failing body.

   He hit the cyborg hard—driving the creature back on its heels. He seized its throat with his strong left hand while he seized the cyborg’s left wrist with his right hand.

   Warn’s head snapped forward and he bit the cyborg’s nose—breaking several teeth in the process. The broken teeth only enraged Warn further.

   Warn turned toward the cyborg. He wrapped its left arm around his waist while releasing the throat and using that arm to wrap around the cyborgs arm above the elbow.

   In Wrestling the move was a “Hip-Roll”. In Judo it was “Makikomi”.

   Warn retained his grip on the cyborg’s left arm.

   “Let him go or I’ll rip your arm off,” he ground out between shattered teeth.

   Getting no positive response, warn broke the mechanical arm at the elbow joint. The arm might be mechanical; nonetheless the elbow would be a weak point. The articulation worked that way.

   Fun Guy squealed in pain as the cyborg tightened its grip on the small dog.

   Warn felt the fury move slowly over him. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion to his jacked-up time sense.

   There was a sound like canvas tearing and Warn held the forearm of the cyborg—it being torn loose at the broken elbow.

   Warn reached down and pulled the cyborg to its feet. He grabbed it at its crotch and its neck. The cyborg seemed rich in seams and protrusions that one could grip.

   Warn lifted the cyborg overhead and then smashed its head as hard as he could into a tree trunk.

   There was a satisfying “Chunk!” as the metal swathed head hit the tree trunk—but the haint didn’t drop Fun Guy.

   Warn drew back—he’d never relinquished his grip—and he slammed the cyborg’s head into the tree once more.

   This time Warn not only slammed it sideways. He also brought it downward at about a thirty-degree angle so as to take advantage of gravity.

   Fun Guy wailed piteously.

   Warn stood upon his tiptoes. This time he slammed the cyborg down at a forty-five degree angle.

   Fun Guy slipped from the cyborg’s limp grip.

   He wanted to check his dog, but the cyborg was still a danger to him as long as it was alive.

   Warn ripped his sword from its scabbard. He went down the line stabbing the sword into weak places in the cyborg as if he was demonstrating each and every vulnerable spot to an audience.

   “Enough, he’s long past dead,” the sword spoke in Warn’s mind.

   “You shouldn’t be able to access full berserker mode yet. Even so, there is no way that you should be that strong.

   “You are seriously malfunctioning Warn. Get your dog and get back to your base as quickly as possible,” the sword demanded.

   “And who died and left you boss?” Warn crossly asked the saber.

   “You did,” the sword answered sadly. “The sword is the self—piercing time and space and penetrating to true insight. You knew that once.

   “Now you must remember if you are to survive…

   “If your mission is to have a prayer of succeeding.

   “We may not have sufficient time. Events are racing ahead of strategy,” the sword said cryptically.

   Warn examined Fun Guy.

   “Is he going to die?” Warn said.

   He started to cry.

   “Listen to me,” the sword said. “His leg is broken. He has internal damages—but we may be able to treat him if we get him to the compound in time.”

   “Can I trust you?” Warn asked the sword.

   “I’m no more or less than you,” the sword said.

   “Can you trust yourself?”




.....RVM45             :mellow: :thumbsup: :mellow:
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 04:52:52 pm by RVM45 »
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There are only Two Types of People in the World:

A.} Folks who are after my Guns;

And;

B.} Folks who Are Not after my Guns.

Nothing Else Matters.

casca-503

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Re: Saber
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2014, 09:54:00 pm »

truly very little else matters...
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UncleMorgan

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Re: Saber
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2016, 09:05:08 am »

Great story.

I really recommend putting it on Kindle

Really really recommend it!
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