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Old 07-23-2002, 11:29 AM   #341
Havoc Stryphe
@Havoc Stryphe
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Penn's Woods
Posts: 1,901
Current Game: Mass Effect
Chapter Twenty-five: Bittersweet Reunion

Young David and his army, at seeing the enemy fall before them and knowing Viper was defeated, let forth a mighty war cry of victory. But Young David, thorough as he was, wasted no time and began to give orders to the soldiers to ensure their safety and to help the injured. He ordered Wraith 8 to take a few men and to make sure that none of the enemy were still alive to pose a threat. Then he turned to STTCT and told her to quickly gather some men to tend to the wounded.

(Click Here for Part 1 Soundtrack)

As he was finishing his orders, Young David, was suddenly interrupted by someone shouting, “Sir, look!”, it was Crazyus Dogus, who was now pointing towards the hilltop. Cresting the hilltop, were the silhouettes of three men, back dropped by the setting sun.

Young David knew at once it was his friends, and wasted no time as he ran to meet the weary warriors, “Rhett! Tie Guy! And Leon! Thank God you are okay.”

Leon answered with a smirk, “Well, we’ve been better. Where’s Sherack?”

David’s face told the story as he lowered his gaze and sighed, “He was slain in battle, I arrived too late to save him.”

Rhett knew what David was feeling as he replied, “Eets and Havoc were lost too…”, Rhett just trailed off, lost in thought.

Tie Guy spoke next as he surveyed the battlefield, “Well, it would appear that before the day is out we will have many another name to add to that list”

“Yeah… Well, let’s get to work. I’m sure the men want to get home”, Rhett replied heavily as he made his way towards the battlefield.

Before starting home, however, the daunting task of burying the fallen laid before them. The GeeBee army, with heavy hearts, began to dig the graves for their fallen comrades. Many a grave was dug with whatever tools could be had. Some with swords others with bare hands as the men made sure not a single body went without a proper burial. As night fell on the second day, the last stone was placed on the final grave and as Rhett and Young David surveyed the battlefield it became evident that there were just too many graves to count. No words were spoken, it was just understood, as the men made ready for the journey home.

The journey home was bitter sweet for the weary forummers. Traveling to be with friends and family, and yet they were painfully reminded that many of their fellow forummers who started the journey alongside them were never going to come home. None reminded more so than Rhett, who remained speechless the entire journey home.

Finally, after several days, the men arrived home. Most were greeted by the townsfolk with great cheers of joy and sighs of relief. While, sadly, others were given the news that their loved ones would not be returning. It was almost immediately decided by the town to hold a ceremony to honor those who lost their lives in the great battle.

So that very evening, the surviving men placed the blades, shields and helms of their fallen comrades on a large raft lined with hay. There were then joined by the rest of the townsfolk. Amidst all the emotion, swords and helms, no one seemed to notice one particular missing blade. When the raft was prepared, all watched as Young David, STTCT, and Tie Guy waded out into the lake dragging the raft behind them. Not a sound was heard but the sloshing of the lake against the raft and the warriors. When they got far enough out, the soldiers gave one last push and the raft began to drift out into the large lake.

Rhett took a deep breath and began his eulogy, “People of GeeBee, today we remember those great men and woman who gave their lives defending our home from the evil forces of Viper. To some, they were brothers or sisters. To others they were sons and daughters, and still others they were husbands and wives. But to each of us they were friends. We saw them everyday, we fought next to them in battle and yet, regrettably, we may never realized their greatness until now. Let each of us, today, swear an oath to never forget their great sacrifice and selflessness that allowed us to stand here today. We pray now, their souls the Lord will keep until we meet them again in glory.”, with that, Rhett raised his sword high and let forth a mighty command.

Suddenly a warrior’s silhouette could be seen standing on the hill overlooking the lake. And as he drew back his mighty bow, a flaming arrow could be seen, poised towards the evening sky. Another command was given by Rhett, and Leon let go his bow string, the arrow of fire raced across the amber sky, leaving a streak of flame behind it as it came to rest squarely on the raft, igniting the hay and causing the raft to become engulfed in fire. And as the flames reached high into the evening sky, on shore, a lone soldier raised his blade high to show his respect and his love, only to be joined by another soldier close by. Then another soldier followed suit, suddenly only the sound of steel being drawn could be heard until every last soldier was holding their swords high in honor of their slain comrades. And in that moment, as the setting sun glinted on each raised blade, and the water reflected the memorial pyre’s flames. It was said not a single soul breathed a single breath until the last ember gave way to the cold, dark waters of the lake.
__________________________________________________ ____

Chapter Twenty-six: A Promise Kept

Later that week a festival was held in the town center to celebrate their freedom from the Spam armies of Viper. Great songs filled the night air as man, woman and child ate, danced and sang their joys. Yet, one man seemed very distant and lost in thought. Young David, Leon and Tie Guy approached Rhett who was standing at the edge of town staring into the surrounding forest.

David was first to speak, “Rhett, why don’t you join the festivities. Too long your heart has been weighed down with pressures of battle. Come, let us celebrate our victory, it’s finally over.”

Rhett turned to his friends and faintly smiled, glad he had such great friends, “I wish it were, my friends, but there remains one last thing I must do, I have put it off too long already…”

Suddenly, Rhett turned and walked towards the stables. Perplexed, his friends followed and watched as Rhett saddled his horse and made ready to travel. Finally Tie Guy could bare no more, “Where are you going?!”

Rhett seemed to busy to reply, or just didn’t want to, and as he started making his way out of town he heard again the voice of Tie, “Rhett, for God sakes man, where are you going at this hour?”

Rhett turned his head and shouted back, “To keep a promise to a friend!”, and with that Rhett vanished into the dark forest leaving his friends to stare at each other in confusion.

Rhett’s destination lay a ways out of town, a small cottage where a great hunter and his wife lived, but tonight only the latter would be there. Though Rhett had only been to the cottage one or twice in his life, somehow the way there seemed plainly obvious tonight. As he rode, Rhett checked his pack to make sure the sword was there, and was reminded of how Havoc would fiddle with the sword when he was nervous or anxious. The thought brought a smile to Rhett’s face, but then it vanished as quickly as it appeared. As Rhett got closer to the cottage, he began to wrestle with his fear. Why him? Why did he have to be the one to bear the news? But even as he asked himself the questions, the answer made itself plain as could be. Because He was Havoc’s friend and Rhett knew he had to do this. Before he could continue his thought, Rhett realized he had already arrived at his destination.

(Click Here for Part 2 Soundtrack)

Rhett dismounted his steed and tethered it to the fence surrounding the cottage and began to make his way slowly up the walkway to the front door. Suddenly the door was opened quickly and a beautiful young woman, dressed only in a nightgown and holding a lantern, ran from the cottage to greet the warrior. Rhett, startled at first, stopped in his tracks, but then surprise gave way to agony as he realized what was happening and helpless to stop it.

The woman approached, but suddenly stopped short, “You’re not my husband! What do you want?”, she stated as she tried to cover herself better.

“No, milady, I am not, but I mean you no harm.”, Rhett replied in a the most soothing voice he could muster.

The young woman spoke next, “That voice? Rhett, is that you?” She lifted the lantern higher in attempt to see the man’s face, “It is you! It has been too long, good sir! Come let me…” Her voice trailed off as her excitement quickly turned to anguish and fear as she suddenly realized the reason why Rhett was there. “No! No…it can’t be. Please Rhett, say it isn’t so!”

Rhett had no idea what to say, his own sorrow making it hard for him to keep his wits about him, “I wish it were not so, but I can not change that fact madam.” Rhett stepped closer as he continued, “Your Husband fought valiantly and if were not for him, surely we would not have been victorious. You should be proud…”

Rhett was cut short by a now teary-eyed wife, “Proud of what?!” she snapped, “a dead husband and father?!”

Rhett was caught off-guard by the last word, “father, but, Havoc had no children?”

“No, not yet he hasn’t, but I am with child! I hadn’t told him yet. It was to be a surprise for his birthday!” Havoc’s wife replied in tears.

Rhett was now at a complete and utter loss for words. He should not have let Havoc give his life, he should have done something to prevent it! It was all Rhett could do to hold Havoc’s, now sobbing, wife and comfort her. “He wanted you to have this, you were his dying thought” Rhett finally managed as he pulled away from the woman and proceeded to hand the crying woman Havoc’s sword. “He saved our land and my life several times with this blade, he was a great man, and I will remember him fondly the rest of my days.”

Havoc’s wife nodded solemnly, still crying, and took the blade from Rhett who could no longer bare the pressure. Rhett began to back slowly down the walkway towards his horse. Havoc’s wife could only stare, still too racked with disbelief to move. And as Rhett untethered his horse and rode off, Havoc’s wife fell to her knees and wept uncontrollably. Her sobs still ringing in Rhett’s ears as he struggled to gallop faster away from the cottage, his own tears making it hard to see where he was going.

Finally, when the crying of Havoc’s wife could no longer be heard, Rhett stopped his horse and dismounted. Here the road ran next the river that led to town. And as Rhett struggled with his pain and sorrow, he decided to have a walk at the river’s edge and get drink. After tethering his horse to a nearby tree, Rhett made his way down to the river, knelt and proceeded to splash some water on his face in hopes it would wake him up from this horrible dream. Instead, it only served to remind him how cold the night wind was. His mind taxed from anguish, Rhett sat at the base of a nearby tree and wept. His thoughts strayed to his friend Kvan, who died next to him during the first Great Spam war, and how he was unable to save his life. then he thought of Eets, who was turned to evil before being slain by Havoc (They each swore they would tell no one of that, so that Eets’s reputation would not be tarnished in death), and finally to Havoc who gave his life for Rhett. Now his child will grow up without a father and his wife forced to provide for both of them. All because he did nothing to save him! How could he had let this happen?! He was their leader, he should have made sure no harm came to them. They trusted him and he let them down! It was all Rhett could do not to collapse from the unbearable pain and anguish.

Suddenly, Rhett heard a voice, it was Kvan, “Rhett, why do you blame yourself?”

Kvan?” Rhett replied as he looked up to see the blue, glowing outline of his friend of long ago, “Because, I failed them! I let them die!”

“No Rhett, you could not have stopped it from happening. Each man’s destiny lies with himself. He makes the choices that ultimately decide his fate.”, replied Kvan.

“But, I was their leader. It’s my…”

Rhett was cut short by the apparition, “Yes, you were their leader, but they followed because they wanted too! They chose to follow you, because there was no one else they’d rather follow!”, suddenly behind Kvan two more glowing outlines appeared, it was Eets and Havoc both smiled at their friend and nodded in agreement. Kvan continued, “Now, get some rest, Rhett, GeeBee still needs you to help rebuild and lead her…”

Before Rhett could argue, he felt his eyelids become very heavy, and the world become darker, and then nothing…

Rhett awakened to the sound of a man’s voice, “Whoa there young lad, are you okay?”

Rhett still struggled to open his eyes as he sat up and answered the stranger, whose voice sounded oddly familiar, “Yeah, I had a rough night, that’s all” Rhett slowly opened his eyes, but could only make out the stranger’s dark gray robe and pointed hat.

“That much I can tell”, the stranger continued as he helped Rhett, “it’s not often people sleep in the forest alone. It must have been a really rough night to fall asleep with no cloak and a rock for a pillow, eh Rhett?

“yeah, you could say that…Wait a second, how do you know my name!” Replied Rhett as he finally blinked his eyes open to clearly see who he was talking to, there was no one there, only an empty forest which began to radiate the warmth from the morning light of the rising sun, “Chris? Chris, is that you? Wait, where’d you go?”, Rhett frantically made his way up to the road, stumbling the whole way, still half asleep, “I need your help, I had a really awful night!”

And as he reached the road, Rhett searched the road, but only his horse was standing there. There was no one to be found. Suddenly, as if the forest itself spoke, ChrisC3po’s voice could be heard, “Last night may have been rough, but it’s part of yesterday. Today is a brand new day!”

Rhett let those words soak in as he mounted his steed. He then looked to the east towards town, and at the golden sun rise reflecting off the dew laden leaves. As Rhett tried to take in the beauty of the perfect morning surrounded by the sweet singing of the morning birds, he slowly nodded and whispered to himself, “Yeah…it is. It is a brand new day…”

Rhett smiled and without another thought, spurred his horse and galloped towards town, and into the warm sunrise waiting there…
__________________________________________________ ____


The Children looked to the old man in awe, impervious to the town bustle around them as they sat in the town square anxiously awaiting more of the old man’s story. Just then, the old man leaned forward to give more, at least the children hoped, of the wonderful story.

“The end” The old man said, much to the children’s dismay. “What?", continued the old man, "Would you rather And they lived happily ever after?”, the old man asked, with a grin, goading the children further.

“But we want to know more!”, cried the children.

The old man replied, “But, there is no more to tell.”

“What of Rhett, what happened to him? Does he still live?”, the children queried.

“Well, some say he still walks the land of GeeBee,” the old man answered with a twinkle in his eye, “protecting it against Spam and it’s minions, with his trusty Blessed stick”

“Really?!”, one child excitedly asked, “What does he look like?”

But before the old man could answer her, a voice was heard approaching, “Alright children, enough for today. Go to your homes, or wherever it is you came from!” The voice joked. Some children ran off, while other too curious to leave, waited to see what happened next.

“Why must you do that?”, The old man asked the approaching young man.

“Because, if you had it your way, you would stay here all day and tell your stories to the children, that’s why”, the young man said as he smiled.

“And what’s wrong with that?”, the old man replied.

“Nothing, old man, unless you don’t want to stop a spammer.”, this peaked the old man’s interest, “I just talked with the locals who say someone north of here is using the dark powers of Spam”, replied the young man, “We best be going soon if we are to catch him.”

“Ah, your father would be so proud! He was a good man you know? Did I ever tell you how he saved my life?”, The old man stated with a twinkle in his eye.

“Yeah, you’ve told me a thousand times, uncle Rhett”, replied the young man with a smile, “ but I love it more with each time I hear it!” The young man wrapped his arm around the old man’s shoulders and together they walked off laughing as friends do.

And as the men walked slowly off, the children watched in awe. After hearing the old man’s name, they were still to flabbergasted to move. And as the two men walked further off, the old man turned back his head to look at the children. Seeing the children, mouths ajar, he smiled and pulled back his tattered cloak to reveal a stick hanging from his belt that radiated a bright golden aura in the sun. The old man winked at the children, twinkle in his eye, and his laughter was soon joined by the children’s own as they raced home to tell their families what they had seen and heard that day.

And with that, the legends of the Spam continued for many a generation…

*Fade to Black*

(Click Here for ending credits Soundtrack)

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be ever at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And the rain fall softly on your fields
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand

Last edited by Havoc Stryphe; 07-23-2002 at 09:33 PM.
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