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 Fool's Gold, A Darwin's Soldiers story
Serris
Posted: Feb 7 2010, 12:42 AM


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Okay, this is the first TRUE Darwin's Soldiers story.

It takes place between the first and second RPs and it details Dr. Yuri Kerzach's career at Rara Terra Smelting and what he finds there.

For those not in the know:

The first RP revolves around a terrorist attack at Pelvanida, a remote government research facility in Nevada. The scientists at the facility manage to fight off the terrorists but in the process, unearth an illegal project designed to create super soldiers. They are then blacklisted by the government.

The second RP is based on the premise of the entire group, along with some new allies reentering the base to try and stop the experiments. But since the entire group had been forced to take new jobs since their blacklist, the reentrance is more like an invasion.


This post has been edited by Serris on Feb 7 2010, 12:47 AM
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Serris
Posted: Feb 10 2010, 05:47 PM


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Chapter 1

Dr. Yuri Kerzach swore as he tried to clear the jam on the rotary feeder leading to the ore crusher. His muscles strained as he tried the lever out a piece of ore that had gotten stuck between the screw and the side wall. His earplugs protected him from the deafening noise of the machinery around him.

Suddenly, a pop was heard and a small piece of ore bounced off the faceshield he was wearing. He closed the maintenance hatch, climbed down the platform’s stairs and restarted the rotary feeder. He placed the crowbar back into its proper place.

He looked at his watch; it was 2:30 AM. He was glad his shift was over. He then headed over to the locker room, where he changed out of his hard hat, faceshield and earplugs and blue jumpsuit.

His coworker, a burly Rhino was changing out of his street clothes into his silvered protective clothing.

Dr. Kerzach paid him no heed as he then got his street clothes and went into the showers to wash up.

___________________________________________________________________

Several minutes later, Dr. Kerzach, now dressed in a tan shorts and a grey short sleeved shirt headed out to his car. Compared to the dusty and dirty processing areas, the office and clerical area of the plant were quite clean.

Almost like Pelvanida, Dr. Kerzach thought. As he walked down the white hallways, he passed by an office with the name “Lester Montgomery” on the door.

Lester Montgomery? Where have I heard that name before? He thought. “Damn it! It’s that same scientist who attacked Dr. Zanasiu back at Pelvanida!” he muttered.

He then pushed the door open. Bastard must be up to no good, he thought as he entered the office.

The office itself was very clean but rather bland. The only thing that was distinctive was a large steel sculpture of the emblem of Rara Terra Smelting: an “R” superimposed on a “T”.

He opened a drawer and found nothing but writing utensils. He opened another drawer and found a bag of pretzels.

He was about to leave when a piece of paper tucked under the keyboard attracted his eye. He was about to pick it up when he heard the door handle turn.

Dr. Kerzach immediately bolted into the closet, leaving the door slightly ajar.

___________________________________________________________________

Montgomery, a wiry Beagle entered the office, followed by a tall Red Fox in a blue jumpsuit. A name tag on his jumpsuit identified him as Jake Sachs. Montgomery then shut the door.

“Lester, Dragonstorm requires a steady supply of lanthanides,” the Fox said.

“Jake, Pelvanida has a contract with Rara Terra. Consequently, Rara Terra is their sole supplier of lanthanides. We can simply pinch some supplies like we always do,” Montgomery replied.

“Ever since Keegan O’Neill took the cell growth accelerant samples that Zachary Johnson made back in 2005, Pelvanida has stepped up security.”

Montgomery shrugged. “Then explain how Kozlov and I ‘acquired’ an embryo from another scientist back in ‘06?”

Jake shook his head. “You can clone another embryo in mere days with an accelerated growth pod but you can’t make missing metals appear out of thin air. In any case, prepare for Operation Monazite.” Jake then exited the room.

Montgomery then reached slid the back of the paperweight open and retrieved a small radio that he secreted inside the base of the sculpture. “Monazite is being mined,” he said into the radio. He then placed the radio back into place and left his office.

Dr. Kerzach then exited the closet as soon as he heard the click of the door. “Damn it! They’re stealing stuff for Dragonstorm,” he muttered.

He then examined the piece of paper on the keyboard. He groaned as he realized that it was an order form for office supplies.

“Let’s see what Monty’s got on his PC,” Dr. Kerzach muttered, sitting down at the computer and booting it up. He chuckled as he realized that Montgomery never put a password on his computer.

He soon found several folders in the “My Documents” folder. Most of them were labeled with the names of various other lanthanides.

He clicked a folder labeled “Holmium” and found nothing except a bunch of employee training guides. As he scrolled down, he noticed a folder labeled “Ore”. He tried to open it only to discover that it demanded a password. Dr. Kerzach tried “Dragonstorm” only to have it rejected. He then tried the name of the company but failed. Minutes passed as he tried every possible password, all of them rejected. In desperation, he typed in “Monazite4” and to his surprise the computer accepted it. He was then treated to folders labeled with the names of various lanthanide ores. He opened a folder labeled Agardite only to find some rather poorly written erotic stories.

Dr. Kerzach cursed under his breath. “I spend all this time here and all I find is porn,” he muttered.

He then got back to searching through all the folders. Several minutes passed as he tried to guess the password on a word document labeled “Op. Monazite”.
He read the document over and gasped. “They’re moving out at 3:30 AM and the clock says it’s 2:55 AM already! I gotta get to the freight yard before they move out!” he muttered.

He shut the computer down and exited the office only to bump into Montgomery and Jake as he exited.

Dr. Kerzach pushed Montgomery aside and bolted down the hall with the two following him. He cursed as he made his way to the cafeteria instead of the freight yard. He glanced back and noticed that they weren’t following him. As he routed back and turned a corner on his way to the freight yard, Montgomery and Jake seized him and bound him with duct tape, making sure to tape his knife sharp toe claws. . They then carried him into a janitor’s closet and locked the door.

Montgomery and Jake headed out to the freight yard.

This post has been edited by Serris on Feb 15 2010, 08:42 AM
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LettuceBacon&Tomato
Posted: Feb 15 2010, 06:23 PM


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Ooh, Yay! A Darwin's Soldiers Story! This is awesome!

Whatever word processing program you're using, it didn't transfer apostraphe's and commas.

But the story is good! There's high suspense, and I want to know what happens next.

I'm working on my story too, Ship Of State, and it should be ready to start posting relatively soon! Thanks for writing a story Serris!
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Noname
Posted: Feb 15 2010, 06:54 PM


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It's a good story, although it doesn't really belong in the land before time section, does it? Shouldn't it go under the written word section?
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LettuceBacon&Tomato
Posted: Feb 16 2010, 12:53 AM


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QUOTE (Noname @ Feb 15 2010, 06:54 PM)
It's a good story, although it doesn't really belong in the land before time section, does it? Shouldn't it go under the written word section?

All of my Darwin's Soldiers are in this section. If we move this one, we need to move all of mine too.
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Serris
Posted: Feb 24 2010, 06:56 PM


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New chapter!

I kind of like the way this turned out, especially the escape from the closet. The only problem is that the man who randomly attacks Dr. Kerzach. I cannot seem to justify that.

---------------------------------

Chapter 2

Dr. Kerzach stumbled around the closet trying to find a light switch. He cursed as he stepped into a bucket in the darkness. After a few minutes of blindly stumbling around, he found the light switch and flicked it on with his head. As the fluorescent tubes overhead began to warm up and cast a stale light in the closet, he took stock of the situation.

Around him were metal shelves full of various cleaning supplies and tools. In one corner was utility sink with a bucket in it. He looked down at his feet and groaned as he realized that he had gotten his left foot caught in another bucket.

“All right, now to how to get myself free,” he muttered.

His eyes fell on a box cutter on a shelf that just happened to be at the right height to grab. He hobbled over to the shelf, turned his back to it and managed to grab it. But in the process of extending the blade, he dropped it and in the process to trying to find it, accidentally kicked it under the shelf.

S---! There goes my means of escape! He thought. He then noticed that the shelves had a fair amount of sharp edges that were not covered. He shook his head. Nah, that only works in movies. But I’ve got no choice. He thought.

He went over to one of the sharp edges and rubbed his taped wrists against it. After several minutes, the tape weakened and eventually snapped. He was then able to get his hands in front of himself. He pinned the cut tape under his foot and ripped it off. He retrieved his switchblade from his pocket and used it to cut the tape that covered his sharpened talons after freeing his foot from the bucket.

He then tried the door; it was locked but the hinges were on the inside of the door. He looked around for something to knock the pins out of the hinges. He found it in the form of a putty knife sitting on a shelf.

Working as quickly as possible using the putty knife as a crude chisel and small wrench as a hammer, he removed the pins from the hinges. He then carefully lifted the door out of the frame and placed it aside.

He grabbed an aerosol can of lubricant and walked down the hallway.
___________________________________________

At the freight yard, pallets of metal ingots were being loaded onto rail cars by forklifts under the harsh glare of metal halide lamps. The clatter of machinery was deafening. A tall iron fence topped with barbed wire prevented unauthorized access to the yard. The concrete floor was covered in grease stains and dirt.

Further back in the freight yard was the vehicle entrance. At this time it was deserted, save for a group of employees loading ingots into tractor-trailers.

Montgomery was overseeing the process. “Hurry up! We’re cutting it close as it is!” he snapped.

“You try moving fast in a suit that weighs a few thousand pounds!” A Golden Retriever wearing a powered exoskeleton snapped. She moved back to the warehouse to get more ingots.

“Montgomery! The decoys have been set!” Jake said, running up to him.

“Good!” Montgomery replied, checking off items on his clipboard. He looked at his watch. “We’re a little behind schedule. According to the plan, we’re supposed to be rolling out in twelve minutes. But looking at the way things are going, we’re probably going to be moving out in nineteen instead.”

“A seven minute gap isn’t going to kill us. By the time Kerzach gets out; we’ll already be at the Arizona state line.”

___________________________________________

Dr. Kerzach made had made a detour to the locker room to don his safety gear and jumpsuit so he would not stand out. As he was finished strapping his boots on, he heard the door open and a skinny man in a blue T-shirt and jeans walked in.

“Hey Yuri, isn’t your shift over?” the man asked, kicking off his work boots.

“I’m working overtime,” Dr. Kerzach replied. He the hastily exited the locker room and strolled through the ore processing area, which was in full operation. Several laborers were busy repairing an ore crusher that had been shut down for several days on account of a broken motor.

After casually waving at some of the laborers, he left the processing area and doubled back to the freight yard.

He tried to open the freight yard door only to find out that it was locked and that his keycard did not grant him authorization to access the freight yard.

He then turned around only to spot a burly Armadillo wearing a blue jumpsuit and safety glasses standing in his way. “Aren’t you supposed to be working in the ore processing area?” he asked.

“You must have mistaken me for someone else. I’m supposed to report to the freight yard to fix a malfunctioning power loader,” Dr. Kerzach replied.

“Erm, I’m supposed to be at the freight yard to repair a broken forklift. There was no mention of a malfunctioning power loader,” the Armadillo said suspiciously.

“Uh, must be an error in communication,” Dr. Kerzach replied. In a split second, he whipped out the switchblade and brandished it. “Give me your keycard!” he demanded.

“What…what the f---’s going on?” the Armadillo asked.

“Shut up and do as I say!” Dr. Kerzach snapped, waving the knife.

The Armadillo handed over his keycard and Dr. Kerzach marched him at knife point into a closet where he then locked the door.

Dr. Kerzach put the knife away and unlocked the freight yard door. When he pushed it open, he noticed that several employees were loading pallets of metal ingots onto rail cars but in the back were several tractor-trailers and several figures milling about them. He could not tell if they were the Dragonstorm thieves or normal workers.

He strolled about the freight yard until two men went up to him. “Hey, we’ve been looking for you!” the first man said.

“Yeah, we placed a call to maintenance regarding a broken forklift,” the second man added.

Dr. Kerzach followed the two men over to the motor pool where a forklift cordoned off with yellow safety tape was located.

“Now what seems to be the problem?” Dr. Kerzach asked.

“The fork doesn’t work,” the first man replied.

Dr. Kerzach donned a pair of work gloves that he had in his pocket and started examining the forklift. After a few minutes, he returned holding a piece of broken chain. “That is your problem,” he said, “the lift chain broke.”

“Can you fix it?” the second man asked.

“I have to place in an order for a spare chain,” Dr. Kerzach replied. He then exited the freight yard and entered the bathroom to collect his thoughts.

“Okay, steps to take. First, determine if the trucks in the back of the freight yard are Dragonstorm vehicles. Second, disable or trap the trucks here. Third, grab as much data about Dragonstorm as possible. Finally, get out of Arizona and into Nevada and get a job at Pelvanida,” he said out loud.

He the flushed the toilet and washed his hands. He then returned to the freight yard.

___________________________________________

Back at the freight yard, one of the power loaders had developed an electrical failure and had to be shut down. The Golden Retriever wearing the suit jumped out from it.

Jake looked at his watch. “Damn it! We’re even more behind schedule than we thought!” he said.

Montgomery sighed. “Kerzach’s stuck in a closet. He’s our sole threat,” he said.

“We can’t let any of the other employees here know about this. At best, we all get arrested and fired for theft. At worst, ‘The Project’ is discovered.”

___________________________________________

At the same time Jake and Montgomery were arguing, Dr. Kerzach was “repairing” a forklift near them. Yep! They're Dragonstorm vehicles. Now to trap them here. He thought.

He stole occasional glances at them and noticed that the gate could easily trap the trucks in the lot. He noticed that a room overlooked the freight yard.

That must be where they can control the gate! He thought. He then closed the access panel on the forklift and headed to the stairwell that led up to the control room.

Along the way, he passed by a forklift which was being repaired by a massive man. As he did so, the man got up and followed Dr. Kerzach.

Halfway to the stairwell, when Dr. Kerzach stopped to adjust his jumpsuit, the man made his move and grabbed Dr. Kerzach and dragged him to the grimy concrete floor. Dr. Kerzach’s can of lubricant rolled out of his grasp.

“What’s your problem!?” Dr. Kerzach demanded, wrestling with his assailant.

“You're in an unauthorized zone, Kerzach,!” The man replied.

“And a mechanic has the authority to determine that?” Dr. Kerzach replied. He pecked at the man’s face, drawing blood and causing him to flinch. The man kneed Dr. Kerzach in the stomach in response.

Dr. Kerzach punched the man in the throat, rolled him off, got to his feet and grabbed the can of lubricant. The man coughed for a moment and drew a large knife from a hip sheath. Dr. Kerzach emptied the can of lubricant into the man’s face. The man dropped his knife with a scream and clamped his hands onto his face as the lubricant burned his eyes. Luckily for Dr. Kerzach, the noise of the machinery prevented the others from hearing his screams.

“Wear your goggles,” Dr. Kerzach said coldly as the man stumbled about in agony.
He tossed the empty can of lubricant aside and continued on his path to the stairwell.

“All right here goes nothing!” Dr. Kerzach said, grabbing a sledgehammer that a previous worker had left leaning against the wall.

He then climbed up the stairs, sledgehammer in hand.

This post has been edited by Serris on Feb 24 2010, 10:49 PM
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LettuceBacon&Tomato
Posted: Feb 24 2010, 09:20 PM


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QUOTE (Serris @ Feb 24 2010, 06:56 PM)
The only problem is that the man who randomly attacks Dr. Kerzach. I cannot seem to justify that.

Bah. Happens all the time in the RPs. The random hitmen from the first RP? The dudes Stern fought in the parking lot? I thought it fit in well with the story's tone.

I've really warmed up to Kerzach as a character. During the first RP, I didn't see him as very interesting, as he was a Non Action Guy, but unlike Shelton he didn't really do any tech work either. I didn't even include him in Card of Ten (well, I did, but not as a member of the away team).

I kinda wish I did now. He's like a perfect mix of both sides of the spectrum. While most of the characters are primarily firepower and combat figures, like James and Werner, and other characters are mainly tech and equipment, like Shelton and Bailey, Kerzach can do both. That makes him the best character for a solo story like this one, and enjoyable to read. Keep it up!
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Serris
Posted: Mar 5 2010, 02:05 AM


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New chapter! I really, really,really like how the fight scene turned out. It was perfect fusion of Dr. Kerzach's "human" side and his "cassowary" side (the use of distractions <Human> + the incredible agility and leaping along with the use of talons <Cassowary>).

------------------------------------

Chapter 3

Dr. Kerzach panted heavily as he ran up the stairs to the freight yard control room. The climb would have been strenuous enough if was an ordinary day but he was running and carrying a twelve pound sledgehammer.

His work boot shod feet echoed in the poured concrete stairwell, dimly lit by stale white LED lighting.

“Damn it! Move faster Kerzach!” he said. His legs and lungs ached from the exertion but he pushed his body even harder.

__________________________________________________________

Montgomery checked off the last list on his clipboard. “All right! We’re ready to roll out!” he said. Around him, Dragonstorm personnel were sealing the trailers and getting in the trucks.

Montgomery climbed into the cab of one of the nearby trucks; Jake climbed into the driver’s seat and started the engine. Montgomery grabbed the radio and turned it on. “Monazite Deposit, this is Monazite Miner, we are ready to roll out. Monazite Miner out!” he said into the radio.

All around him, the sounds of the trucks starting their engines could be heard around the freight yard.

Jake pulled out a portable radio from the truck’s glove box. “Monazite Refinery, this is Monazite Foreman, open the gates, Monazite Foreman out,” he said into the radio.

“Monazite Foreman, this is Monazite Refinery. Gates are opening. Monazite Refinery out,” the radio crackled.

Jake looked out the truck’s windshield and saw the heavy steel gate slowly sliding back.

“This is it. No one can stop us,” he said.

__________________________________________________________

Dr. Kerzach was now at the top landing of the control room. The landing was nothing more than a dingy concrete box lit by white LED lights with a door at one end and a stairwell at the other. He took a few seconds to catch his breath.
He then tried the door. It was locked.

“Open up!” he shouted, pounding on the door.

He waited for several seconds but got no response.

He knocked even harder on the door. “Open up or I’m breaking the door down!” he shouted.

He waited several more seconds but still got no response. He then picked up the sledgehammer and swung it with all his might onto the doorknob. The powerful impact tore the knob from the door and sent it clattering to the ground. He drew his switchblade and kicked in the door.

To his surprise, the control room was completely empty. The control room was clean and well lit compared to the dingy concrete landing outside. There were two bathrooms in the hallway but it did not seem like anyone was inside. He put his switchblade away.

He went over to the control panel and examined it. He quickly located the touch screen that controlled the gates and commanded it to close.

Now that I’ve got the trucks stuck here, I’ve got to dig up some info on Dragonstorm. He thought.

The sound of two doors opening interrupted his train of thought.

“Oh s---!” he muttered as he turned around at the noise and noticed a Hyena female emerging from the women’s bathroom and a Human male emerging from the men’s bathroom.

“Hey! Aren’t you supposed to be in the ore processing area?” the Hyena asked.

“Not when outlaws are about,” Dr. Kerzach replied.

“Outlaws?” the Human scoffed, “You must have been exposed to floatation solvents too long!”

“I am in no mood for your games! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a mission to do.”
He then pushed his way past them and bolted down the stairwell.

The Hyena went over to the control panel and reactivated the gate. She then radioed Jake. “Monazite Foreman, this is Monazite Refinery, gates are opening,” she said into the console mounted radio.

“Let’s hope this shipment gets out before dawn,” the Human said.

__________________________________________________________

As Dr. Kerzach emerged from the stairwell, he noticed that the gates were opening again. He could clearly see the motors that opened the gates but if he tried to disable them they would see him.

“Damn it! I should have suspected those two were Dragonstorm goons!” he said.

He then bolted back up the stairs.

__________________________________________________________

“You don’t think Kerzach got out?” Jake asked.

“Nah,” Montgomery replied.

“How do you explain the gates suddenly closing then opening?”

“Electrical malfunction.”

Montgomery leaned back in the seat.

__________________________________________________________

The Hyena and Human were in the process of radioing Dr. Branston at Pelvanida when they were interrupted by Dr. Kerzach bursting into the room.

“I should have figured that you were not employees! Close the gates!” he ordered. His switchblade was out and at the ready.

“We don’t take orders from a lowly manual laborer,” the Hyena said, grabbing the fire axe hanging from its hooks next to the fire hose.

The Human opened a switchblade not like the one that Dr. Kerzach wielded.

Dr. Kerzach narrowed his eyes and assumed a fighting stance.

The Hyena rushed at him with the axe raised. He easily dodged the first clumsy swing and slashed the Hyena, cutting her uniform. The man with the switchblade charged at Dr. Kerzach but he quickly flipped a nearby container of paper into the man’s face, distracting him for a moment. The Hyena slashed at him again. Dr. Kerzach dodged the slash and stabbed the Hyena in the side. She stood in shock for a moment as blood began to flow from the wound. Dr. Kerzach took advantage of that shock and stabbed her in the stomach. She doubled over in pain and dropped the ax.

Dr. Kerzach turned around in time to avoid getting stabbed in the back. He leapt backwards and squared off against the man.

Dr. Kerzach made the first move, a sweeping slash aimed at the man’s wrist.

The man quickly moved his hand out of the way and countered with a stab to Dr. Kerzach’s stomach. Almost instinctively, Dr. Kerzach leapt out of the way and slashed again. This time, he left a small cut on the man’s face.

The man slashed at Dr. Kerzach. This time, he managed to cut Dr. Kerzach’s uniform and his arm.

Dr. Kerzach then surprised the man by hurling a basket of writing supplies at him. He then jumped forward, slashing at the man with his sharpened claws.

The man was unable to react fast enough to dodge the slashing claws. Dr. Kerzach’s sharpened talons tore through his uniform and his skin, sending blood spattering on the furnishings. The man dropped his switchblade and backed off. His clothing and skin were shredded by the slashes and several gashes marred his face. The man bolted for the exit but Dr. Kerzach left him alone.

He wiped his bloody switchblade on the dead Hyena’s uniform and put it back in his pocket. He then ran over to the control panel and ordered the gates to close. He then picked up the fire axe and used it to destroy the control consoles.
_________________________________________________________

Back on the ground, the gates were just open enough for the trucks to exit. Suddenly, they began closing.

“I’m going to see what the hell’s going on in the control tower!” Jake said, unbuckling his seat belt and exiting the cab. He retrieved a 9 mm Beretta pistol from the glove box, loaded it and cocked it.

Montgomery was dozing off in his seat.

__________________________________________________________

Dr. Kerzach looked out the window and spotted Jake coming out of the truck. S----! He’s coming this way! He thought.

Dr. Kerzach then threw the axe aside and ran down the stairs.

When he arrived at the freight yard, he ran to a power loader and pretended to be repairing it. As soon as he saw Jake enter the stairwell; he bolted for the exit of the freight yard.
__________________________________________________________

Jake climbed up the stairwell only to find a scene of utter carnage. Blood was spattered almost everywhere in the control room, the furnishings were in disarray and to top it off, there was dead Hyena in the room and the consoles were completely destroyed.

Jake sniffed the air. “Kerzach.” he muttered, “I’ll get you for this!”

He then left the control room in pursuit of Dr. Kerzach.

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LettuceBacon&Tomato
Posted: Mar 5 2010, 03:05 AM


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That was an intense fight. You did do a good job of blending Kerzach's human and Cassowary sides, (but I'm not sure if Kerzach is much of a non-action guy anymore smile.gif ), and I really want to see what happens next.

In other news, the apostraphe's and stuff are visible! I have no idea why, but hallelujah!
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Serris
Posted: Mar 5 2010, 11:39 AM


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QUOTE (LettuceBacon&Tomato @ Mar 5 2010, 03:05 AM)
I'm not sure if Kerzach is much of a non-action guy anymore

He can hold is own in close quarters combat but that is about it.

He is not the "hunter" type like James is. He prefers to avoid trouble but it finds him anyways.
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Serris
Posted: Mar 20 2010, 01:35 AM


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New chapter!

Oh, someone from the first RP makes a little cameo (name only).

-----------------------------------

Chapter 4:

Montgomery jumped out from the cab of his truck as soon as the freight yard gates slid shut. Around him, several of the drivers were trying to find a way to open the heavy steel gate.

“Monazite Refinery! Open the gates!” he said into the radio.

He got no response and changed frequencies. “Monazite Foreman! What the hell is up with the refinery?!”

“Monazite Miner, the refinery’s equipment has been destroyed by Kerzach. I’m heading after him,” the radio crackled

Montgomery swore and turned to the workers around him. “Manually open the gates!” he ordered.

Several of the workers prepared to start up the diesel engine that powered the winch to open the gates.

“The winches won’t start!” a Dalmatian worker shouted. The smell of diesel fuel hung in the air but he assumed that it was due to the machinery.

A Human worker shone his flashlight over the engine. He noticed that several ragged holes had been punched in the fuel tank. “F--- the winch! Manually open it!” he shouted.

A Bison worker grabbed hold of the winch handle and started turning it. There was little resistance as he turned the handle but he attributed that to his immense strength.

“S---! We’ve been sabotaged!” the Bison shouted, as the chain wrapped itself around the winch.

Montgomery swore. “We’ll have to cut the gate!” he said.

Several of his men got up and ran to get metal cutting equipment.

_____________________________________________

Dr. Kerzach was inside the clerical area of the refinery. There was no one present and the cool air was a refreshing change from the dusty and hot air of the freight yard.

He stopped by another door. This door had a nameplate on it but the name had been defaced. All that was visible on the plate was “Piotr K-” the rest of the name had been scratched out.

“Piotr Kozlov?!” he asked himself. “Nah, he’s dead,”

Dr. Kerzach then tried the door. To his surprise, it was unlocked.

He turned on the lights and looked around the room. The room was quite bare; only a computer on a simple metal desk and a rather uncomfortable looking metal chair were present.

He sat down on the chair and booted up the computer. After a few minutes, he logged on and started digging through the company network. He sighed as he waded through shipping forms but one item caught his eye: several shipments of various lanthanides to Weyland-Yutani.

Dr. Kerzach bought up Weyland-Yutani’s customer information. All in all, it was a rather unremarkable company that manufactured prosthetics and other cybernetics.

“Doesn’t Pelvanida have a contract with Weyland-Yutani?” he muttered.

Dr. Kerzach grabbed a piece of paper out of the office inbox and a pencil and scribbled down the contact information for Weyland-Yutani. He shoved the piece of paper in his pocket and shut down the computer.

He then exited the room and headed for the ore processing area.
_____________________________________________

Back at the freight yard, several workers were busy attacking the heavy steel gate with cutting equipment.

Montgomery was watching two laborers set up a plasma cutter. Another laborer stood by a power loader exoskeleton.

“Damn it! We’re already behind schedule,” Montgomery said.

“Instead of complaining about the damn schedule, help us!” a Reticulated Python snapped. He was cutting away part of the gate with an angle grinder.

Montgomery said nothing but reached in the cab of his truck and donned a face shield and some heavy work gloves. He then got to work assisting two other laborers setting up a laser cutter.

_____________________________________________

Dr. Kerzach was walking through the ore processing area. It was dusty and noisy like always. He passed by the Rhino laborer he met at the end of his shift. The man quickly stopped him.

“Working overtime?” the Rhino asked him.

Dr. Kerzach nodded. “Yeah,” he said. He then saw Jake enter the ore processing area. His heart jumped. “Listen, I’ve got to wash up and go home,” he said.

The Rhino shrugged and let Dr. Kerzach go.

Dr. Kerzach left the ore processing area through the double doors at the end.

Jake holstered his pistol and looked around the ore processing area for Dr. Kerzach. The scent of crushed rocks and machine oil dampened his sense of smell. He stopped the nearest laborer, which happened to be the Rhino.

“Where did Kerzach go?” he asked.

“Who’s Kerzach?” the laborer asked.

Jake swore. “He’s a short, stocky Cassowary. You can’t miss him. Brown eyes, red and blue highlights on his face, black feathers, talons on his feet and dressed in a blue jumpsuit,” he said.

“Oh, Yuri? He went that way,” the laborer said, pointing to the double doors at the end of the processing area.

Jake thanked the man and exited the ore processing area.
_____________________________________________

Dr. Kerzach was now inside the flotation area. The air was much less dusty but the smell of chemicals hung in the air, despite the powerful ventilation system. Several workers were monitoring the flotation system to ensure that everything was in working order.

He ducked into a locker room to collect his thoughts. Okay, I’ve got a little bit of info but where else should continue looking? He thought. His eyes drifted towards a magnet on a locker that proudly declared “Alabama – The Heart of Dixie”.

“That’s it! Montgomery’s office!” he said.

“You wish, Kerzach!” a voice said.

Dr. Kerzach turned around and spotted Jake in the doorway. Jake’s pistol was trained right at his head.

“Who are you?” Dr. Kerzach demanded.

“Name’s Jake. But that’s not going to help you,” Jake replied.

“You must be one of Montgomery’s goons.”

“I prefer the term ‘worker’” Jake replied in a mock-offended voice.

Dr. Kerzach looked around. Jake was too far away to leap at and slash but Dr. Kerzach’s powerful legs could easily propel him over a nearby bench and into a running start.

He took that chance. He leapt several feet through the air, a gunshot grazing his head. He bolted for the exit of the locker room, several bullets missing him.

He then dashed out of the locker room but in his haste to exit, he turned down the wrong hall and into a dead end.

“S---!” Dr. Kerzach muttered.

“No where to run, Kerzach,” Jake taunted as he rounded the corner with his pistol ready.

Dr. Kerzach looked around. S---! I’m gonna die. He thought. He then closed his eyes to await the fatal shot.

Jake raised his pistol and prepared to fire when something wrapped around his legs and dragged him to the ground. The impact with the hard tile floor made him drop his pistol.

Dr. Kerzach opened his eyes and saw that an Anaconda, had successfully disarmed Jake. The Anaconda had wrapped his sinuous body around Jake’s midsection and his arms were wrapped around Jake’s neck. Surprisingly, the snake was dressed in a blue jumpsuit like the one that Dr. Kerzach was wearing, albeit modified due to the fact that the Anaconda had no legs.

Jake was desperately struggling to get free but the snake’s powerful grasp eventually suffocated him.

The Anaconda released the now dead Jake and slithered up to Dr. Kerzach. “Are you Dr. Yuri Kerzach?” he asked.

“What’s it to you?” Dr. Kerzach asked. He kept a hand near his switchblade as he did not fully trust his rescuer.

“Is that any way to treat someone who just saved your life?” the Anaconda replied.

“Look, I’ve got to stop Montgomery’s goons from stealing some shipments of metals!”

The Anaconda’s eyes narrowed. “Lester Montgomery. We suspected he was up to something in the sublevels, whispers of something called ‘Dragonstorm’,” he said.

“Sublevels? Are you a Pelvanida sublevel guard?” Dr. Kerzach asked.
“Former sublevel guard. After the s---storm that was the Pelvanida terrorist attack, all sublevel guards were fired, even Commander Atticus Ædelwulf was not spared. In any case, the name’s Paul Gamay and I assume that you’re Dr. Kerzach?” the Anaconda replied.

Dr. Kerzach nodded. “Dragonstorm has a presence right here in the form of Montgomery. I smashed the console that controls the freight yard gates to buy time so I can steal or wipe Dragonstorm data but I have a feeling that my time’s running out,” he said.

“I’ll come along. But you’ll have plenty of time; I put some holes in the fuel tank of the engine that opens the gates and cut the chain for the manual winch,” Paul said.

“Good work!” Dr. Kerzach said. “Now let’s get moving!”

Paul picked up Jake’s pistol and checked that it still had ammunition.

Dr. Kerzach and Paul then headed for Montgomery’s office.
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LettuceBacon&Tomato
Posted: Mar 20 2010, 04:33 AM


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Nice update. I liked the AEdelwulf reference, I had wondered what happened to him.

The plot thickens, and Kerzach has an ally now. I'm excited to see how this all turns out.
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Serris
Posted: Apr 28 2010, 04:26 PM


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Only 2 chapters until the end!

------------------------------------

Chapter 5

Paul and Dr. Kerzach were winding their way through the clerical section of the refinery. The sterile stainless steel and tile halls were devoid of all workers.

“So Paul, how did you know about Dragonstorm?” Dr. Kerzach asked.

“We had no solid proof; only whispers of rumors from scientists and experiments,” Paul replied.

The group then stopped in front of a door that was partially ajar. Dr. Kerzach looked at the name plate. “It’s Montgomery’s office all right,” he said.

Paul pushed the door open and swept around the well lit room with his pistol. The room was bland: just a wooden desk with a flat-screen LCD monitor on it and the boxy desktop computer on the ground. Pencils and other writing utensils were scattered across the desk and a metal paperweight that was nothing more than a freestanding “R” superimposed on a “T”. A tattered grey office chair sat in front of the desk.

“I’ll keep watch while you steal data,” Paul said.

Dr. Kerzach sat down at the desk and looked for a USB stick or a floppy disk. After a few minutes of searching he came up empty handed. “I’ll have to steal the hard drive,” he said.

He shut the computer down and used a letter opener to remove the computer’s case. He then disconnected the hard drive and stuck it into his pocket.

“Let’s go and hit the other computers,” Dr. Kerzach said.

Paul shook his head. “No, look around see if there is something else present,” he said.

Dr. Kerzach stood up to reassemble the computer case and in the process, knocked over the paperweight. The paperweight clattered to the floor, the bottom plate falling off and revealing the concealed radio inside.

Dr. Kerzach blanched as he saw the concealed radio. “Oh shit,” he muttered.

Paul picked up the radio and smashed it with the paperweight. “Continue searching”
_________________________________

One of Montgomery’s workers exited the bathroom. As she made her way through the stainless steel hallways back to the freight yard, she spotted Jake lying face down in the hallway.

She approached him and shook his shoulder rather roughly. “Jake! What the hell do you think you are doing, sleeping in the hallway?” she demanded.

“Jake?” she asked. Worry crept across her face when Jake did not respond. She then decided to check Jake’s pulse. None.

“No...no,” she said. She then quickly dashed back to the freight yard, leaving Jake’s body behind.
_________________________________

Montgomery’s men were cutting through the heavy steel gate. Several pieces of the gate were lying next to the nonfunctional lift engine but the gate was still unable to accommodate the trucks.

“Work faster!” Montgomery said. He was holding an angle grinder to a section of gate. Sparks flew as the grinding wheel slowly cut through the super tough steel.

“We’re working as fast as possible!” a woman shouted. She was using a plasma cutter to cut another part of the gate.

At this point, the freight yard was nearly deserted and no one noticed a female Coyote in a blue jumpsuit enter the freight yard.

The Coyote went up to Montgomery and tapped him on the shoulder.

Montgomery turned off the angle grinder. “What is it?” he snapped.

“Jake’s dead,” she said.

“What?” Montgomery said. Jake was one of his closer friends.

“Found him lying face down in one of the halls. What shall I do with him?”

Montgomery bit his lip. He wavered between being respectful to Jake or carrying out the assigned task. He knew that leaving his friend’s body in a seldom used hallway was disrespectful but retrieving the body may take too much time; time they did not have. After a few minutes of silence, punctuated only by the sound of sparks and pneumatic tools cutting away at the steel gate, he made his decision.

“It pains me to say this but time is of the essence, leave his body there. We’ll give a eulogy back at Pelvanida,” he said, staring up his angle grinder and continuing to attack the gate.

The Coyote nodded and flipped down her welding mask and got to work cutting away a piece of the gate with her plasma cutter.
_____________________________

Jake and Dr. Kerzach had finished ransacking the office. For good measure, they also destroyed the computer.

“So where to now?” Dr. Kerzach asked.

“We need to know who else could be working with Dragonstorm,” Paul replied.

“The server room. If we can access the personnel files we can see who else is working with them. I can’t guarantee that’ll work but it’s our only hope.”

The two then left the ruined office and made their way down the hall. After a few minutes, they found themselves in front of a heavy wooden door with a placard that read: Server Room Authorized Personnel Only. Below that was placed another placard reading: Warning! Room protected by CO2 discharge system. Evacuate room when horn sounds.

Dr. Kerzach tried to open the door. “It’s locked,” he said.

Paul said nothing but produced a key card that he swiped along the wall mounted reader. The reader beeped softly and the click of an electronic lock disengaging could be heard. He opened the door, revealing rows upon rows of servers. “A little chilly in here,” Paul said.

“Ah, server rooms are always cold. Keep an eye out while I try to get into the personnel files,” Dr. Kerzach replied.

He then sat down at a computer in the back corner and booted it up. He inwardly chuckled as whoever used it was an administrator and had failed to log out. He quickly went through the folders in the system until he found a folder labeled “Personnel Dossiers”. He opened it and started looking through all the files. His heart raced as he browsed through the files; he knew that at any time, the gates would be breached and the trucks would be moving out.

The two inside the server room failed to notice a camera hidden in the corner.
_____________________________

Inside the main security room of the refinery, two Dragonstorm personnel, who had forced their way into the room, subdued the technicians inside and locked them in a closet, were looking at the monitors that showed the view of the refinery’s hallways and grounds through its security cameras.

One of the technicians, a Beaver spotted Dr. Kerzach and Paul in the server room. She radioed Montgomery. “Montgomery, this is Watcher One, I have spotted Kerzach and what I assume is his accomplice. Orders?” she said into a handheld radio.

_____________________________

Montgomery turned off his angle grinder and pulled the radio out of his pocket. “Watcher One, this is Montgomery, subdue Kerzach and his accomplice by any means necessary. Montgomery out,” he said, putting the radio back into his pocket. He flipped his face shield back down and started up the angle grinder again.

His men were almost finished cutting through the gate.
_____________________________

The Beaver technician nodded, cut the lights in the server room and activated the CO2 fire extinguishing system.

Her accomplice was monitoring the freight yard for any other would-be heroes.
_____________________________

The lights in the server room turned off, plunging the room into darkness. The only visible lights were the blinking lights on the server racks, the green emergency lighting and the light of the computer monitor that Dr. Kerzach was using.

“Hey Yuri, shouldn’t we just crash the whole system?” Paul asked.

Dr. Kerzach shook his head. “Rara Terra Smelting is mostly innocent. It is only a few employees who are bad apples. We don’t want to be any more destructive than we have to be,” he said.

“Yeah but-“

Suddenly, Paul was interrupted by the roar of the fire extinguishing system activating.

“Paul! Get out!” Dr. Kerzach yelled. He then held his breath and made his way to the exit through the suffocating fog using the green emergency lights.

He opened the door and stumbled outside, coughing. “Paul,” he said, “where are you?”

Paul slithered out moments later, surrounded by a white fog. “Right here,” he said between coughs.

Dr. Kerzach quickly shut the door, sealing the CO2 fog inside the room.

“How the hell did that occur? I thought there was supposed to be an alarm and a 20 second delay to let us escape!” Dr. Kerzach asked.

“This isn’t Pelvanida,” Paul replied.

“All permanent CO2 fire extinguishing systems are required by OSHA to have an alarm and delay.”

Paul sighed. “You know what? That’s not our concern right now. We need to get info,” he said.

“And where do you propose we go? We can’t go back into that server room,” Dr. Kerzach replied.

Paul pointed to a sign that pointed down one of the hallways. The sign read: Security office.

Dr. Kerzach shrugged. “It’s worth a shot,” he said, walking down the hallway.

_____________________________

The Beaver technician used the infrared mode of the camera to search the sever room. When she came up empty, she leaned back in her chair, satisfied with a job well done.

“You know,” she said, “we really should be heading to the freight yards.”

Her accomplice, a tall Human, nodded. “Yeah, we’ve got everything cleaned up, so let’s return to Pelvanida,” he said.

As soon as he finished speaking, the door to the security office clicked open, revealing Dr. Kerzach and Paul.

“Dr. Kerzach,” the Human said. “How are you?”

“Fine for someone who was nearly killed by a malfunctioning fire extinguishing system in the server room,” Dr. Kerzach said icily.

“We are looking for personnel files,” Paul replied.

Just out of eyesight, the Beaver technician retrieved a Glock 18 pistol hidden underneath the desk.

“Paul! She’s got a gun!” Dr. Kerzach shouted, as he spotted the technician.

Paul turned around and spotted the armed technician. He drew his pistol and shot her in the chest. The technician staggered back some but returned fire. Dr. Kerzach dove behind a console while Paul flattened himself against the ground.

The Human technician used the distraction to grab his own weapon hidden in a drawer, a Sig-Sauer P226 pistol. He snuck up behind Paul and held the pistol to his head. He failed to notice that the console he was standing in front of concealed Dr. Kerzach.

“You! Snake! Drop your weapon and come with me!” the technician demanded.

Paul did as he was told, placing his pistol on the ground.

That was when Dr. Kerzach made his move, drew his switchblade and stabbed the man in the foot, causing him to drop his weapon in pain and shock. Paul reacted instantly, seized his own weapon and shot the man in the head, killing him instantly.

“Thanks,” Paul said.

Dr. Kerzach pulled his knife from the dead man’s foot, wiped it on the dead man’s uniform and put his switchblade away.

“Hmm. Looks like we can’t trust anybody,” Dr. Kerzach said.

Suddenly, there was the sound of someone pounding on a door.

Paul and Dr. Kerzach traced the noise to a closet in the back. Paul drew his pistol while Dr. Kerzach carefully opened the door. Inside were two technicians, one Blue Jay and the other a Golden Eagle. Both had been bound and gagged with duct tape and they were wearing blue khakis with a star on the shoulder that bore the words SECURITY on it.

Dr. Kerzach quickly sliced through their bonds with his switchblade. “What happened?” he asked.

“Two guys – well one was a woman – forced their way in here, tied my partner and myself up at gunpoint and threw us in the closet,” the Golden Eagle said.

“Do you know anything about Lester Montgomery?”

“Yeah, he was the man who ordered us to find and apprehend Dr. Yuri Kerzach.”

“We have little time for talk, round up all security forces and detain everyone in the freight yard. Dr. Kerzach and I have found thieves preparing to steal shipments of metals,” Paul ordered. He decided that telling these two about Dragonstorm was not a good idea yet.

The Blue Jay nodded and got on one of the consoles and prepared to muster the security forces.

“Guys, we have to move now!” Paul said. He was looking at one of the security camera screens. It showed that the gate was completely cut through and the trucks were rolling out.

Dr. Kerzach ran over to the screen. “Shit! We’re too late!” he said.

Paul shook his head. “I’ve got a plan. Security! Lock down the refinery and detain all suspected thieves! Kerzach come with me to the smelting area!” he ordered

Dr. Kerzach and Paul headed towards the smelting area as fast as they could. At the same time the two left the room. The two security heads were staring at each other in shock before they got to work following Paul’s commands.

For these four, they were now engaged in a desperate race against time to stop Dragonstorm from growing more powerful.
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LettuceBacon&Tomato
Posted: Apr 28 2010, 05:27 PM


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Yay! An update! (Makes me feel bad about taking so long on my stories wink.gif )

And an exciting one at that. I found the female worker interesting. Sounded like she and Jake had something together, or at least she had feelings for him. That's always sad sad.gif

Like the OSHA reference wink.gif Trope, anybody?

All in all, a high octane story, and I can't wait for the finale!
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Serris
Posted: May 20 2010, 02:23 AM


General of the Great Valley
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And we are VERY near the end!

-----------------------------

Chapter 6

The loudspeakers blared out the lockdown alert as Paul and Dr. Kerzach dashed through the hallways of the clerical area. The guards had been mobilized as well and were busy blocking the entrances to the refinery and inspecting the workers’ vehicles. Unfortunately, Paul and Dr. Kerzach were stopped several times by the overzealous guards but the “Head of Security” badges loaned to the two by the actual heads of security proved effective in cutting the time lost to a minimum.

“Do we have anything that can stop a truck?” Dr. Kerzach asked as the two were running down the halls. Even though Dr. Kerzach was capable of exceeding twenty eight miles per hour at a full sprint, he decided to slow down out of courtesy to Paul.

Paul shook his head. “This ain’t Pelvanida. The guards here carry shotguns at most. We don’t have weapons designed to take down vehicles,” he replied. He cursed the fact that he could not move as fast as a being with legs.

“So why are we going to the smelting area? Are we going to pour molten metal on the trucks or something?”

“I didn’t say we take the trucks down with a weapon,” Paul replied.

Dr. Kerzach swore. Maybe partnering with Paul was not the best idea.

His thoughts were cut short when the two entered the smelting area, which was still busy despite the lockdown.

Paul looked around for the object they would need. He spotted it on the opposite side of the smelting floor, chained to a small steel post sunk into the concrete floor.

“That’s what we’ll use to stop the trucks!” Paul said.

Dr. Kerzach looked at the object. Thanks to his avian vision, he could clearly tell that it was an industrial mounted shotgun designed for breaking up slag deposits chambered in 8-gauge, made by Remington and fired by means of a crank system like an early Gatling gun. I gotta hand it to him; I never thought that shotgun would be used in such a manner. He thought.

“Yuri, get ammo for the gun. I’ll deal with the gun itself,” Paul said.

Dr. Kerzach nodded and headed off to the storeroom while Paul moved to the actual gun.

_______________________

Dr. Kerzach found the storeroom. He found that the door was locked but he managed to cajole another worker into opening the storeroom for him. He entered and looked around. The shelves were stacked with cleaning supplies, tools, lubricants and in the corner, a pallet filled with 200 round cases of the 8-gauge shells. He found a hand truck tucked in the corner and started stacking up a few of the cases.

_________________________

Paul examined the shotgun to make sure that it was undamaged. He swore as he forgot to fetch a pair of bolt cutters. He turned around to head to the closet when Dr. Kerzach approached him with a hand truck filled with the shotgun shells and a set of 48 inch bolt cutters.

“Paul, I’ve got the ammo,” Dr. Kerzach said. “And the bolt cutters.”

Paul took the bolt cutters and quickly cut the chain securing the shotgun to the pole.

He tossed the chain and bolt cutter aside. “Let’s move!” he said.

Dr. Kerzach wheeled the hand truck with the ammunition out the smelting zone’s other exit. Paul followed with the mounted shotgun.

When they got there, they spotted the exit blocked off by two shotgun toting guards.

“Damn it,” Dr. Kerzach muttered.

“Allow me,” Paul said, wheeling the shotgun past the two guards.

“Halt! This building is under lockdown! You may not leave!” the first guard, a burly English Bulldog, said.

“Excuse me, but this mounted shotgun is to be carried over to the repair shop.”

The guard frowned. “All right, who is your avian buddy with all those shotgun shells then?” he demanded.

Paul blanched. “There’s been a recall of that particular batch. Supposed to go to the repair shop for storage until they can be returned. Bad primer or something,” he said. His heart was pounding as he knew that if he was caught in the lie, their chance at stopping Montgomery and his men dropped to zero.

“All right, move along.”

Paul and Dr. Kerzach exited the building into the night air. The high steel fences and harsh lamps of the refinery provided a sharp contrast to the barest hints of dawn.

The two wheeled their supplies over to the repair building. Luckily it was almost completely deserted.

Dr. Kerzach pointed to a large pickup truck parked next to the building. The truck was equipped with a heavy brush guard and dual rear wheels. “We’ll take that truck. Not like we have a choice,” he said.

Paul said nothing but smashed a nearby window with a rock, swept the glass away with a broom that worker had left behind and climbed into the building.

A few minutes later, he returned with the truck’s key, several tie-down straps and a set of goggles. “We’ve got the keys. Now get this vehicle ready,” Paul ordered.

Dr. Kerzach lowered the small ramp that was attached to the truck and Paul pushed the mounted shotgun into the bed. He then got to work securing the shotgun to the bed with the tie-down straps.

Dr. Kerzach then got to work loading the cases of shells into bed of the truck. When he was finished, he then unlocked the doors and got into the driver’s seat.

Paul them donned the set of goggles and climbed into the bed of the truck. He tapped on the back window, which Dr. Kerzach had opened before getting in the driver’s seat. “Move out!” he ordered.

Dr. Kerzach started the engine and pulled out of the parking lot and headed into the freight yard. He was pleasantly surprised at how easily the large truck handled.

“Trouble,” Paul said, as he spotted two guards approaching the truck.

“I’ll handle this,” Dr. Kerzach replied.

“You! Get out of the truck and state your name!” the first guard, a dark skinned Human demanded, leveling a pistol at the cab.

Dr. Kerzach got out of the truck with his hands raised in the air. “I am Yuri Kerzach and I am supposed to be delivering this industrial shotgun to the dealer for routine maintenance,”

The first guard turned to the second guard. “Radio security heads and tell them about this,” he ordered.

The second guard, a Chameleon, unhooked the radio from his belt and contacted the security.

After he got a reply, he then turned back to Dr. Kerzach. “All right, Mr. Kerzach, you are free to go,” the guard said.

Dr. Kerzach thanked them and got back in the cab and peeled out of the parking lot.

As they got on the mostly deserted highway and headed north, Dr. Kerzach suddenly spoke.

“You know, even though I was present when we drove the terrorists from Pelvanida, I still can’t seem to shake this terrible case of nerves,” he said as he stepped on the accelerator, causing the truck to climb beyond 60 miles per hour.

Paul then knocked on the back window. “Slow down! It’s hard to breathe when you drive too fast!” he panted.

Dr. Kerzach set the cruise control for 55 miles per hour and watched the road. His heart was racing as he knew a shootout was inevitable.

“Hey Yuri, try putting on the radio. That may help calm you down,” Paul said as he stuck his head back through the window.

Dr. Kerzach shrugged. Why not? He thought, turning the radio on.

The first piece of music that played was the jovial strains of Holst’s Jupiter began playing over the radio. He chuckled at the totally inappropriate choice of music before he switched stations.

“This is 101.3 KPA, Arizona’s premier atmospheric music station. Next up on the playlist is 760 Millimeters of Mercury by T.O.R.R,” the DJ said.

Dr. Kerzach sighed as switched stations again. He hated atmospheric music.

To his pleasant surprise, Breaking Benjamin’s Blow Me Away came on.

Dr. Kerzach grinned and took a deep breath. He reflected on how well the lyrics fit the situation as he continued down the empty highway. He silently hoped they would not run into any police.

_________________________

At the A. Dennison truck stop a few hundred miles from Rara Terra Smelting’s complex, Montgomery and his men were resting and refueling their trucks for the drive to Pelvanida. They had been driving nonstop for nearly four hours.

The truck stop was full of other truckers but none of them suspected that the fleet of plain white tractor trailers with numbers 57 through 71 painted on the side of the cab that had just pulled into the truck stop a few hours ago carried stolen goods.

Montgomery yawned and stretched as he awoke. He got out of the cab, locked it and headed into the truck stop to wash up and get breakfast. He wondered how much time they had lost with Dr. Kerzach’s delay. Several of his men were having coffee and bagels in the cabs of their trucks while others were eating a full breakfast inside the truck stop’s restaurant and still others were refueling their trucks.

He walked through the entrance of the truck stop, passing by a burly Warthog dressed in jeans and a flannel shirt. The Warthog scratched his head as he noticed Montgomery’s clothing: a white lab coat and tan pants. He pondered exactly why a doctor or scientist would be driving an 18-wheeler. The trucker decided not to pursue the question further and headed back to his truck.

Montgomery entered the truck stop. It was very clean but it was quite obvious that the building was well worn. Dull brown tiles covered the floor and the concrete walls were painted a dull shade of off-white. He thought about how ugly the building was compared to the gleaming stainless steel and concrete walls of Pelvanida. He entered the bathroom, used facilities and washed up. He then headed for the restaurant.

“Hey Monty! Over here!” one of his men called, waving him over to booth by the window. The restaurant was quite noisy owing to the amount of traffic flowing through it.

He headed over to the booth and sat down next to his men. He cracked open a menu and ordered a combo plate of hash browns and a mushroom omelet. He also ordered a cup of black coffee.

“So do we need to worry about Kerzach and his friend?” a Vulpine worker asked. She was adding some honey to her cup of coffee.

“Bah, we’re hundreds of miles away from the plant. He’ll never catch us,” a Macaw worker said as he ate a piece of bread slathered with peanut butter.

“Don’t be too sure. Remember, he killed one of our men and severely wounded another,” Montgomery said, looking out into the parking lot. He then noticed the waiter carrying over their meals. “Ah, food’s here,” he said as his meal was placed in front of him. He sprinkled some salt over his hash browns and started eating.

The rest of his men dug into their meals with gusto.

_________________________

Dr. Kerzach stopped at a gas station to refuel their truck. By the time they found a gas station that also sold diesel fuel, the tank was nearly empty. He was surprised no one paid any attention to the mounted shotgun sitting in the truck’s bed. He attributed it to the fact that “Rara Terra Smelting Repair Division” was prominently printed on both of the truck’s sides and the complex’s address was printed on the truck’s tailgate. .

Paul had gone inside the gas station to use the bathroom and purchase breakfast.

By the time Dr. Kerzach finished fueling the truck and paying for the fuel, Paul had arrived with two bagels and two cups of hot tea.

“Yuri, I’ve got breakfast. Lox and cream cheese or just cream cheese?” Paul asked.

“Give me the cream cheese but I have to go to the bathroom,” Dr. Kerzach replied.

Paul tossed the cream cheese bagel onto the driver’s seat as Dr. Kerzach went to use the bathroom. He then climbed into the backseat and slithered through the open window onto the truck’s bed. He tore off the bagel’s paper wrapper and started eating.

In a few minutes, they had finished their bagels, along with most of their hot tea. Dr. Kerzach started the truck’s engine and pulled out of the gas station.

A sign on the road read: A. Dennison Truck Stop: 75 miles. Nevada Border: 375 miles.

_________________________

Montgomery and his men paid for the meal and headed out for their trucks.

Montgomery counted up his men and trucks and noticed that one truck along with two workers had gone missing. “Has anyone seen truck 71?” he asked.

“You mean the one driven by Lu?” a Hispanic man asked. He was leaning against his own truck, number 58.

“That’s the one!”

“Yeah, Lu took it over to the repair shop. Got a flat tire. Gonna take an hour or so to get it fixed.”

“We can’t afford anymore delays!” Montgomery said. “We move on ahead without him!”

“But isn’t that dangerous?” the Macaw asked.

“No. We will wait for him at the next stop in Nevada. Now let’s move out!”

The workers climbed into the trucks, started their engines and followed Montgomery’s truck – number 57 – out of the parking lot.

In minutes, they were out on the highway heading north.

_________________________

Two hours later, Lu, a burly Giant Panda, climbed into the cab of truck 71 along with his passenger, a black man named Jackson.
“So where to now?” Jackson asked, fastening his seatbelt.

“Head north. We’ll meet everyone else at the next designated truck stop,” Lu replied, fastening his own seatbelt and pulling out of the parking lot.

_________________________

Dr. Kerzach had turned into the A. Dennison truck stop when Paul shouted that one of their targets was on the highway.

He swore and sped through the parking lot and into the exit. He then accelerated, hoping to catch his target, which was just visible in the distance, thanks to his exceptional vision. He turned on the radio to calm himself. Highway to Hell by AC/DC came blasting through the speakers. He noticed that the highway was not open enough for him to floor the accelerator. Several minutes later, the traffic thinned significantly.

“Paul! Keep down! I’m going to floor it!” Dr. Kerzach shouted.

Paul ducked into the truck bed as Dr. Kerzach stepped on the accelerator, sending the truck hurtling past 70 miles per hour. He eased off on the accelerator as soon as he got within range of the truck. “Paul, start shooting!” he shouted.

Paul opened one of the boxes of shotgun shells and loaded one into the chamber. He raised himself up, aimed and fired. The heavy slug tore through the side of the trailer with no resistance. He grabbed a handful of shells, shoved them into his pockets and started feeding them into the gun as fast as he could with one hand while he turned the crank and aimed with the with the other hand. The mounted shotgun boomed as it sent slug after slug at the trailer. The large slugs tore through the thin sheet metal but did nothing to slow the truck down.

Dr. Kerzach tried to keep a constant speed as Paul fired the shotgun. He saw Jackson lean out of the window with Beretta pistol in hand. Dr. Kerzach suddenly braked as a bullet pierced the windshield. Another bullet lodged itself in the headrest of the passenger seat.

Paul crouched down as soon as the shooting began and started to elevate the shotgun. He managed to elevate it over the pickup truck’s cab. He then loaded it and fired a round. The slug tore off the lower portion of the truck’s side mirror but even with the elevation, Paul could not shoot into the cab nor could he angle the shotgun upwards as the pickup truck’s cab was in the way.

“Paul! Aim for the tires!” Dr. Kerzach yelled as he carefully swerved around the pistol fire that issued from the truck.

Paul ducked down yet again to lower the shotgun back to its previous level. He tilted it downwards and started firing as fast as he could feed the gun. Spent shell casings flew from the gun and landed either on the bed or on the road. The heavy slugs tore off pieces of the road as they struck. A huge bang signaled that he had at struck at least one of the tires but the truck was still not slowing down.

He was nearly thrown from the bed when Dr. Kerzach swerved to avoid more pistol fire. Several pistol bullets penetrated the windshield; two narrowly missed Paul as they flew through the back window. The rest had had struck the backseat. Dr. Kerzach continued trying to evade the pistol fire. He ignored the bullet that struck the driver's side mirror.

Suddenly, the pistol fire abated. Dr. Kerzach, figuring that Jackson had to reload, sped up alongside the truck. “Shoot the fuel tank!” Dr. Kerzach ordered.

Paul gladly obeyed, quickly chambering a round and firing at the fuel tank. A fist sized hole appeared in the tank as the slug tore through the thin metal. Diesel fuel began leaking out at a rapid rate.

More pistol fire caused Dr. Kerzach to fall back. Paul drew his own pistol and fired at Jackson. His bullets destroyed the rest of the tractor-trailer’s mirror. Some had actually penetrated the glass on the passenger side. Paul hoped that he had wounded or killed Jackson but a burst of pistol fire that destroyed the pickup truck’s driver side mirror proved him wrong.

“Yuri!” Paul shouted, “Get in front of the truck! I can hit them from there.”

“What?!” Dr. Kerzach shouted, as he swerved to avoid more pistol fire. The rear passenger windows were shattered by gunfire

“Damn it, Yuri! Don’t question! Do it!”

Dr. Kerzach, puzzled sped up and got in front of the semi with plenty of room to spare. Another bullet passed through the rear window and lodged itself in the center console. He kept the speed up.

Paul elevated the shotgun, swiveled it around and started shooting as fast as he could feed ammunition. He aimed for the truck’s radiator, hoping to stop the truck.

The effect of the hail of slugs was devastating. The slugs pulverized the truck’s grille and shredded the radiator behind it. Steam started issuing forth from the punctured radiator and coolant started leaking as Paul continued firing. He inwardly grinned as the truck started slowing down. Lu was desperately trying to keep the truck moving while Jackson was shooting through the windshield of his own truck. Several bullets missed his head and passed into the cab, most of them passing through the windshield while others lodged in the center console. Still some of Jackson’s other shots struck the mounted shotgun, damaging it slightly.

Jackson paused for a moment to reload and he continued shooting. His first few shots flattened two rear tires. Luckily, the truck was still able to move but at slower rate than the tractor trailer bearing down on them. Paul gulped as he saw the truck coming closer, not seeming to slow down even as he poured slug after slug into the radiator.

Eventually, the truck ground to a halt as the engine seized. Dr. Kerzach and Paul were only about fifty feet ahead of the truck, their own vehicle moving at a crawl thanks to fact that two out of the four rear tires were flat thanks to Jackson’s gunfire.

“We did it!” Dr. Kerzach said exuberantly.

“Don’t rejoice just yet!” Paul said as he spotted Lu and Jackson emerged from the cab of their ruined truck. Both of them were carrying Bushmaster carbines and they both looked utterly enraged.

They immediately started shooting at Dr. Kerzach and Paul as they approached them.

Dr. Kerzach stomped on the accelerator only to find out that their truck now moved at a crawl. He turned the truck’s ignition off, pulled the parking brake and leapt from the cab and bolted down the road as fast as he possibly could.

Paul slithered out from the bed and hid under the truck. He carefully watched from underneath the truck as Dr. Kerzach bolted down the road. He heard a gunshot and saw him fall to the ground.

Paul silently swore as rage started building up within him. How dare they kill a Pelvanida employee, let alone a hero!

_________________________

“We got that bird!” Jackson said, pumping his fist into the air. Both he and Lu were next to Dr. Kerzach’s pickup truck. The windows and rear passenger doors were pocked with bullet holes. The entire driver’s side mirror was destroyed. Spent shot shells filled the bed of the pickup truck and two of the four rear tires were flat.

Lu changed magazines on his carbine. “What about that snake?” he asked.

“We’ll find him and we’ll kill him.”

“Remember, he can hide in places you can’t fit into so be careful.”

“Bah! He’s a stupid reptile! He can’t think for s---!” Jackson scoffed.

That’s what you think! Paul thought as he cradled his pistol.

Jackson went over to the rear of the truck and knelt down to look underneath it. He ended up coming face to face with Paul.

“Stupid reptile huh?” Paul mocked, flicking his forked tongue in and out as a deliberate attempt to unsettle his opponent. Jackson screamed for a moment before Paul blew his brains out with a near point blank shot. “Adios, motherf---er,” Paul said.

Lu turned around and saw a spray of blood coming forth from behind the pickup truck. He ran back there with his carbine at the ready.

Paul tried to grab the carbine but Lu kicked it away from him put his booted foot on Paul’s body. “I congratulate you, serpent. Two people almost managed to take down one of Dragonstorm’s largest material acquisition operations. I’m impressed but I cannot let you live!” Lu said as he aimed his rifle at Paul. He then continued to torment Paul and prod him with the rifle.

_________________________

Dr. Kerzach picked himself up off the rocky ground and dusted himself off. He was very sore from tripping over a rock at almost thirty miles per hour. He was also very hot and was starting to get thirsty as the Arizonian sun was starting to bake the landscape.

He spotted Lu tormenting Paul. He clenched his beak in rage and drew his switchblade. He then charged towards Lu at top speed.

_________________________


“Look, if you’re going to kill me, do it instead of talking out of your ass!” Paul snapped.

Lu chuckled. “As you wish,” he replied. He suddenly shrieked in pain and dropped the carbine, at the same time he released his hold on Paul.

Behind him was Dr. Kerzach holding up his bloodied switchblade. “Come on! Let’s go!” he said to Paul.

“No!” Lu shouted. He grabbed his carbine and aimed it at Dr. Kerzach. Before he could fire, Paul rose up and punched him in the groin as hard as possible. The shock from the blow caused him to flinch slightly. That allowed Dr. Kerzach to charge forward and stab Lu in the side.

Lu screamed and batted the switchblade away from Dr. Kerzach, sending it skidding to the dirt. He then tackled Dr. Kerzach, pinning him to the ground and wrapping his hands around Dr. Kerzach’s neck in an attempt to strangle him.

Dr. Kerzach drew his legs under his body and drove both his feet into Lu’s chest as hard as possible. His powerful legs actually sent Lu flying back a foot or two, causing him to land on his back. He took several deep breaths to draw air back into his lungs.

Paul then wrapped his body around Lu and tried to constrict him. Lu groped around for a rock and used it to repeatedly batter Paul’s head but Paul refused to let go.

“Yuri! Get the gun!” Paul shouted as blood poured down his face from the series of fierce blows.

Dr. Kerzach staggered to his feet and rushed to grab the carbine. He prepared to fire but realized that he would end up shooting through Paul and killing him along with Lu. “I can’t. You’re in the way!” he said.

“Do it!” Paul shouted. “He can’t be left alive! And this far from medical help, I’m going to die anyway!” He was using his hands to try and tear at Lu’s eyes but the severe head injury was starting to weaken him.

Dr. Kerzach sighed and opened fire. He was not used to using a firearm, so he ended up expending nearly the entire 35-round magazine. When the dust cleared, Paul and Lu lay dead in pool of blood, their bodies riddled with bullet holes.

Dr. Kerzach tossed the rifle aside. He was breathing heavily. He was unable to process Paul’s last words, essentially ordering Dr. Kerzach to shoot through him to kill the deranged Giant Panda.

He looked at the two bodies, Giant Panda and Anaconda, wrapped in a wrestling match that would end in a fatal tie.

Dr. Kerzach fought back tears. He had just killed someone he knew. Though his time with Paul was short and sometimes rocky, he still though of him as a friend like he did Dr. James Zanasiu.

“Well, Paul would want me to see what’s inside that truck we stopped,” Dr. Kerzach said. Not that there was anyone to hear him.

He entered the cab of the truck, retrieved the keys to the trailer and opened the trailer.

Inside the trailer were hundreds, no thousands, of cinderblocks.

Dr. Kerzach’s eyes widened in horror as dropped the keys. He then fell to his knees and broke down sobbing. He had risked his own life and shot his own friend at his orders. And what did he get for all that trouble? He did not stop a shipment of valuable lanthanide metals that would have been used in Dragonstorm. All he stopped was truck filled with cinderblocks.

He had failed in his mission.
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LettuceBacon&Tomato
Posted: May 20 2010, 02:59 AM


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Wow, a long update and a seriously high octane one. That truck/post-truck shootout was intense!

I predicted that Paul was going to die, but I certainly didn't expect it like that and it was still sad sad.gif But the writing was really good!

I'm curious what exactly Dr. Kerzach is going to do now, stuck in the middle of nowhere with two destroyed trucks smile.gif Reading this update has motivated me to finally finish my story, which had been languishing in can't-think-of-an-ending land for far too long now.

All in all, great writing, and I'm looking forward to the ending!
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Serris
Posted: May 22 2010, 10:35 AM


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And here we have it: the grand finale.

--------------------

Chapter 7

Dr. Kerzach got back to his feet and looked around the highway. It was completely empty and the desert sun beat down on the rocks and asphalt. The ruined semi truck blocked off the left lane. The bodies of Paul and Lu were near the pickup truck and Jackson was nowhere to be found.

“I’m sorry Paul…Truly, I am. Please forgive me,” he said, fighting back tears.

He returned to the pickup truck and noticed a large spatter of blood on the back. Out of curiosity he peered underneath and found the mutilated body of Jackson. He recoiled in horror as he saw Jackson’s nearly destroyed head. He then opened the tailgate, climbed onto the bed and swept the spent shell casings onto the road and surrounding ground. He also ditched the unused cases of shotgun shells. He then fired the mounted shotgun several times until he was sure there was no ammunition left, undid the tie-down straps, and pushed the shotgun out of the bed, not caring that the fall had probably rendered it unusable.

He returned to where Paul and Lu had been killed, paid his last respects to Paul, and retrieved his switchblade. Dr. Kerzach then returned to the pickup truck started the engine, turned around and headed south on the highway, leaving behind a bizarre scene for other motorists or law enforcement: a ruined semi truck with no markings except the number 71 painted on its cab, a trailer full of cinderblocks that had been opened, several cases of 8-gauge shotgun shells, several spent shotgun shells, two Bushmaster carbines, spent brass from the carbines and the two pistols, two Beretta pistols, a seriously damaged 8-gauge Remington industrial shotgun and three bodies.

_________________________

Several hours later, as dusk began to fall, Dr. Kerzach pulled into a bland looking motel on the outskirts of a sleepy little town.

He parked his badly battered truck, got out and went to the front desk. The lobby was very bland – just a generic “desert” décor – but it was clean. He paid for a single night stay with cash – using a false name – and made his way to his room.

When he entered the room, he noticed that it was very bland with just a TV, a bed and a small table by the window.

Dr. Kerzach noticed a well stocked mini fridge and snack bar next to the TV. His stomach growled; the meal of a veggie burger and fries from a local diner was not quite enough for him. He shook it off and decided to wash up and go to sleep.

He entered the bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror. He looked utterly worn out as he had not slept for nearly an entire day. He was also covered in dust as well. He decided to take out his switchblade and give it a good washing. He left it open to dry on the countertop as turned on the shower. As he waited for the water to warm up, he pondered his next move.

“Where can I go? Rara Terra Smelting is going to rip me a new ass---- since Paul and I committed theft and did some serious damage to the refinery complex. My housemate, Steven Irving is not interested in chasing Dragonstorm. Hell, he doesn’t know anything about the Pelvanida Raid except what was shown on the news,” he muttered as he stripped off his dusty clothing. He stepped into the shower and washed up, letting the warm water run over his feathers.

When he stepped out, he dried himself off, put his clothes back on and flopped down on the bed and soon fell asleep.

When morning broke, he got out of bed, washed his face, pocketed his switchblade and headed downstairs to eat. He grabbed a meal of pancakes, hash browns and a strawberry soymilk shake.

He sat down and ate his meal as he watched the news channel. He nearly choked on his mouthful of hash browns as the TV showed the scene of yesterday’s car chase/shootout.

Early this morning, a motorist stumbled upon a bizarre scene on Highway 451: a severely damaged big rig carrying cinderblocks was entirely blocking the left lane. Adding further to mystery are three bodies, each of them shot to death. Police suspect foul play and urge anyone with additional information to come forward. Back to you, Diego,” the Wolf newscaster said.

Dr. Kerzach’s heart raced. He hoped that no one called police on account of his bullet riddled truck. He quickly gulped down the rest of his meal, returned the dishes and headed out to the front desk.

He hastily returned the key and bolted out of the door and headed for his truck.

To his immense relief, his truck was left completely alone. He got in the vehicle, started the engine and pulled out of the parking lot. He realized that he needed to get both flat tires repaired.

He noticed than a gas station nearby advertised tire repairs as well. He drove over to the gas station, filled up his truck’s fuel tank, which was nearly empty and paid for his purchase in cash.

Dr. Kerzach then drove the truck over to the repair shop. Unfortunately, just as the car was driven into the shop and the mechanics got to work on it, Dr. Kerzach was then confronted with a rather nosy Rhesus Monkey mechanic. His name, “George”, was embroidered on his grease stained jumpsuit.

“May I ask why this truck has Rara Terra Smelting’s name all over it? I’ll need to speak to your company representative about fleet discounts,” George asked.

Dr. Kerzach ground his beak together but he managed to not let anger slip into his voice. “They do not own this vehicle now; I purchased it from them a few days ago. I did not have time to paint over the markings,” he replied.

“As for the damage, it seems that the flats were caused by gunfire. Not to mention, the windows and interior show serious gunshot damage.”

Dr. Kerzach scowled. “I fail to see what that has to do with the cost of repairs!” he snapped.

George frowned. “Car insurance does not cover intentionally inflicted gunfire damage. You will have to pay for the repairs in full,” he replied.

“I am not having that damage repaired!”

“But-”

Dr. Kerzach cut George off. “Give me the bill for the repair work and a time estimate! I am not interested in any other services you have to offer!” he snapped.

George relented. “The repair should take about two and a half hours. The total bill is about $600,” he said. George then returned to the shop and printed out a receipt which he handed to Dr. Kerzach

Dr. Kerzach pocketed the receipt and decided to wander around town. He entered a coffee shop, ordered a cup of hot tea and a hummus sandwich. He sat down by a window and started reading the newspaper. Dr. Kerzach inwardly chuckled as he read the front page article: Refinery Rampage Leaves 4 Dead. Perpetrator still at large. He silently thanked the security heads for diverting attention from his and Paul’s mission.

He leaned back in the chair and slowly ate his sandwich.

When he was finished, he realized that he had two hours left to kill. He checked his wallet and noticed that he was running out of cash.

Well, if I’m going to be heading to Nevada and hiding I’d better take all my cash now. He thought.

He threw away his trash and headed over to the bank, which happened to be very close to the coffee shop.

He waited in line for what seemed to be an eternity before he withdrew all his cash. He shoved the ten thousand dollars he withdrew into the pockets of his clothes and he headed back to the gas station.

When he arrived, the flat tires were repaired and he paid the mechanics for their service and drove off.

Dr. Kerzach sighed as he drove along the Arizonian highways en route to his house. The hours passed as quickly as the miles. He knew that he was getting close when he passed by a sign that pointed the way to Rara Terra Smelting’s refinery complex. By the time he entered his town, it was roughly 9:00 at night. He turned down his street and noticed a police car in front of his house. His heart leapt into his throat as he turned down a side street, made a U-turn and headed back onto the main road.

_________________________

Steven Irving, a slightly overweight man, was speaking to a Rattlesnake police officer. He had gotten seriously worried when Dr. Kerzach had failed to return after his shift at Rara Terra Smelting and his cell phone refused to pick up any calls. He held off on calling the police after he reassured himself that Dr. Kerzach was probably just out barhopping or something…only one problem, he could not recall the last time Dr. Kerzach had done something like that. It was after Steven returned home from work and heard about the shooting at Rara Terra Smelting refinery on the 8:30 news that he had called the police.

“So Mr. Irving, when was the last time you saw Yuri Kerzach?” the officer asked him.

“I last saw him yesterday night at dinner time,” Steven replied. “He works the late shift at Rara Terra Smelting. He’s not hurt is he?”

“We currently have no leads to his whereabouts. We will mount a full investigation as we believe he may have vital information about the shooting at Rara Terra Smelting’s refinery complex.”

“He’s not being charged with anything, is he?”

The officer shook her head. “Not as of now,” she replied. She then got back in her police cruiser and drove off.

Steven closed the door and went back to watching TV.

_________________________

Dr. Kerzach decided to hide in the side street until he was sure that Steven would be sleeping.

He turned off the truck, lay in the backseat and fell asleep. As the hours slowly passed, no one noticed the empty truck parked on the side of the road.

At roughly 1:00 AM, he woke up, climbed back into the driver’s seat and turned on the ignition and drove back to his house.

He parked the truck on the road, got out and locked it. He opened the front door as quietly as possible, closing it behind himself and made his way to his bedroom.

Quietly closing the door and turning the lights on, he grabbed a suitcase and started packing as much of his clothes as he could fit. He entered the bathroom and took his toiletries as well, shoving them into one of the many plastic grocery bags that he used as liner for the trashcan in his room. He found a zip lock bag and stored his extra cash in them. Dr. Kerzach then placed both bags in the already full suitcase. The last thing he took before heading out was his cell phone and its charger.

He then carefully carried the suitcase to the foyer and returned to his bedroom to fetch his backpack. Dr. Kerzach then quietly made his way into Steven’s room.

Luckily for him, Steven was sound asleep and the moonlight was bright enough for him to get what he needed: a box containing all of Steven’s personal documents, placed inside one of the cabinets in the room. Dr. Kerzach carefully placed the box inside his backpack. He then carefully closed the cabinet and exited the room. He then returned to his own room to grab his own personal documents.

When Dr. Kerzach was done with that, he headed into the kitchen to get a drink of water. He debated on whether to tell Steven about Dragonstorm or not. After finishing his glass of water, he decided that Steven was better off not knowing about this. He then left the house, locked the door and headed to his truck.

He placed both bags in the backseat, locked the door and headed to a 24-hour gas station to refuel his truck.

When he had paid for the fuel, he drove north towards Nevada.

Dr. Kerzach turned on the radio. He was pleasantly surprised to hear American Pie by Don MacLean playing.

He sighed. In a few days, he would be starting his new life, not as Dr. Yuri Kerzach but as Steven Irving.

There was nothing on the highway, just a single heavy pickup truck heading north. Heading north in pursuit of justice.
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LettuceBacon&Tomato
Posted: May 22 2010, 09:21 PM


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...woah, I was not expecting that ending.

So Steven Irving was a real person. That puts an interesting twist on it, and explains how Kerzach was able to make a "false" identity so easily.

So Monty got away with the lanthanide! I'm excited to see how this factors into the third RP.

I also liked the American Pie reference. I made one myself quite a while ago smile.gif

All in all, a really good story, and you still managed to surprise me at the end! You should write more stories like this! drink.gif

This post has been edited by LettuceBacon&Tomato on May 22 2010, 09:21 PM
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Serris
Posted: May 22 2010, 09:25 PM


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QUOTE (LettuceBacon&Tomato @ May 22 2010, 10:21 PM)
...woah, I was not expecting that ending.

All in all, a really good story, and you still managed to surprise me at the end! You should write more stories like this! drink.gif

Thank you.

Erm, what were you expecting at the end?

The only problem is that I have no idea what to write next.
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LettuceBacon&Tomato
Posted: May 22 2010, 10:39 PM


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I thought Kerzach was going to catch up with Monty somehow and stop the lanthanide supply from reaching Dragonstorm. But I see how this ending makes more sense in the grand scheme of things.

It wasn't a complaint, I was just noting that. Made it kind of a twist ending for me. smile.gif

Also, I've finished both of my stories, and have started typing them up! That means that as new sections get written up, they can start getting posted!
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