Chapter 6

Chapter 6

A Chapter by Johnzo

Trede awakes to the sound of battle and races towards it. Later Trede and Traz meets up with Cassidy in the market and Trede makes a surprising announcement.

“No!”  Trede awoke with a gasp for air.  He sat straight up in bed and quickly looked around the room.  He was still home.  He had hoped for at least a single night’s reprieve from these terrible dreams, but his affliction had other plans.  He looked over at Traz who was still fast asleep and snoring.  It was still the middle of the night, but Trede knew he’d never be able to get back to sleep now.  He got up and went to the front room in his small house and sat by the fireplace.  There were still some glowing embers hot and rippling in hues of bright orange.  The warmth was comforting.

He placed his hands over eyes and thought “Why… why again so soon.”  Trede was exhausted, he felt as if his limbs were made of cold dead stone.  “Maybe, I could sleep.  Just chance it for a little while.”  He leaned back against the nearby wall.  As he did he heard a sound in the distance.  Remaining completely still he tried to focus on the noise.  It sounded like it was coming from the very outskirts of town on the north side.  Barely anyone lived there so Trede wondered what would be stirring at such a late hour.  Another moment passed and the sound got louder, this time he recognized it right away.  There was screaming, a war-cry crescendoing into what sounded like some kind of explosion.  Trede’s blood ran cold and he sharply opened his eyes.  “No… no that was a dream!  This can’t happen!”  In all the years Trede had these dark dreams, he never experienced anything like them in his waking life.  Trede noticed the sounds were getting louder and closer.  He grabbed his gunstaff and went to the front door.  As he put his hand on the door it gave him pause, “no, it’s not the same door.  This isn’t right.”  He looked back to the bedroom, it’s door was partly open.  Trede heard a loud crash not too far away.  Whatever the source, he knew it was making it’s way right towards him. 

Trede shouted back to the bedroom, “Let’s go Traz!  We’ve got trouble!”  He stepped out the front door and looked around.  Several houses down the dirt street there were a few small buildings ablaze.  As he looked he saw something that he had only heard stories about before.  These men were the Outcasts.  There were 6 of them he thought, it was hard to make out through the darkness, smoke and flame.  They looked like they could be normal men, but they were flithy, some with unkempt hair and beards.  All wearing patchy grey metalic armor and carrying strange weapons.  Though the outcasts were considered savages, those that had met them in combat said their weaponry was curiously complex and deadly.  Even the Cytech’s had learned a thing or two by examining their strange technology.  Trede gripped his staff tightly and began running at them.  He remembered the disgust he had for the marauders in his dreams, it was still so fresh in his mind an intense anger grew inside him.  He would not sit idly by while his home was threatened.  He charged his staff and fired at two outcasts as they broke down another door to someone’s home.  He was still more than thirty feet away, but it was close enough to make it an easy shot.  The Outcasts were taken by surprise, they hadn’t expected such a concussive attack from that range.  The blast grew as it left the gunstaff to a width of over two feet and slammed into the evil men.  They were knocked several feet back landing in a lump on the ground with their hair and clothing smoldering. 

“What do you want here!”  Trede shouted at them over the sound of roaring flames.  He stopped shortly before the remaining villains and stood while charging his staff. 

One of them called out “Take him!” in a blood chilling shriek.  The remaining four outcasts ran at Trede.  He had enough time to finish the charge, but they were smart enough to advance on him from different angles to avoid being shot all at once.  Trede turned and fired to the left.  The outcast winced and moved his arms over his face and shoulders, the loose metal plates of armor reflected the fire’s light.  Spotty armor was no match for the blast and he was quickly downed.  Trede knew he wouldn’t have time for another charge before they were upon him.  He let go of the gunstaff from his left hand and began swinging it behind him with his right.  He turned his whole body gathering momentum while fully extending his right arm and struck another outcast across the top of the head.  Trede noticed the satisfying sound of a loud thud upon impact. 

Just two more,” Trede thought.  His heart was racing as he turned to face his attackers.  They had split again and were one on ether side of him.  Trede split his focus trying to figure out which one would attack first, looking back and forth he had just enough time to start charging his gunstaff when he saw the one to the left move.  The outcast had removed a small metal orb from the gear strapped to his back.  Trede didn’t know what it was, but he knew it was dangerous.  “Time to move,” he thought.  He rushed to his left while still charging his staff.  It wouldn’t fully charged in time, but he had no choice.  Trede swung his staff fully extended at the man.  On impact a small white charge of light exploded and knocked Trede’s enemy back.  It also knocked the metal orb out of his hand which rolled under Trede’s feet.  “Oh no…” 

Trede moved as fast as he could putting the blast chamber of his gunstaff over the metal orb which immediately exploded in a rush of fire.  Trede held on to his staff tightly and put his foot on the base of the blast chamber for leverage.  He was launched in the air into a nearby building slamming into a wooden wall with a loud slam.  Sliding down the wall to the ground Trede lay there in a daze for a moment.  He knew there was another outcast standing, but he couldn’t get his bearings to stand after such an impact.  The figure of the last outcast passed through a wave of smoke walking, almost calmly, towards Trede.  His head spinning, Trede managed to get on his knees and place his hand on this gunstaff and tried to summon the strength to stand up.  He looked up and saw 2 more outcasts join the first.  “Guess I should have made sure first 5 stayed down,” Trede muttered under his breath.  Without thinking Trede lashed out, he jumped up and swung at the first outcast in the center but missed.  The one to the right jumped in and struck Trede in the ribs with a small club.  Trede reeled back from the pain, but had enough thought to start charging his staff while falling backwards.  There wasn’t enough time though, before he could even catch his balance one of the outcasts advanced and prepared to strike.  Trede couldn’t even tell where it came from but he felt a sharp pain in his shoulder and was quickly on the ground again.  “No…  This isn’t a dream.  It’s not that dream.  This can’t be happening, I have to move, fight!” 

Trede’s mind raced to come up with a plan but his options were limited.  The three outcasts were upon him already, and his staff was charged but at such close range it might be too dangerous.  As a last ditch effort he jammed the blast chamber into the stomach of an outcast and fired.  The outcast yelled and reeling backwards.  The spraying white and yellow energy nearly burned Trede’s hand and he dropped the gunstaff.  He turned to the last 2 enemies and tried a bare-handed assault.  He through a few punches, but it was obvious the outcasts were much more accustomed to this type of fighting.  Before he realized it one of the outcasts had grabbed Trede’s arms from behind and he was stuck.  The last outcast, a ugly bald man who’s face was covered in bloody nicks and scars approached Trede without a word and slugged him multiple times in the stomach.  Trede took the punches wihtout choice and winced with pain.  
“Enough of this.  We move on.”  Said the bald outcast and took out a long knife. 

Trede struggled, but couldn’t move, he tried to kick them away but to no avail.  The outcasts blade moved towards Trede’s throat, there was nothing he could do. 

“Really?  Off having fun without me?”  A shadowy figure ran down the street.  The short stature of the figure Trede knew right away. 

“Traz!” He shouted. 

In a single move Traz leapt through the air reaching into his cloak and revealing 2 long curved daggers.  He sliced the bald outcast’s arm causing him to drop his knife and kicking the man holding Trede’s arms making him lose his grip.  Traz landed on the ground and twirled his daggers.  “Never underestimate a Selanic blade my good sirs!”  He shouted.

The bald one muttered “So he’s got friends, take’m down!” 

The second outcast pulled a metal orb out flicked a small switch on it.  Trede started to yell, “Look out for tho-” but was interrupted. 

In a flash Traz threw both his daggers directly at each standing outcast striking both of them directly in the abdomen.  The second one shrieked in pain and fell immediately. The bald one yelled and fell to his knees in pain.  Traz approached the partially upright opponent.  “I do believe I gave you fair warning.”

Suddenly, another loud explosion rang out from down the street.  There appeared to be another outcast running in their direction.  Before either Trede or Traz had time to react a shot rang out followed by a loud metallic clang.  The running outcast fell flatly to the ground.

“Who goes there?  Raise your hands and come in peacefully, or you’ll end up like your friends!”  Said a voice.

The voice was all too familiar to Trede.  “It’s the marshal,” said Trede. 

“Yes Marshal, nothing but friendly folk left standing here!” Yelled out Traz. 

“Trede!  What are you doing here?  Are you involved in this?  I-”  The Marshal came into light and paused when he saw they appeared to have taken a prisoner.  The bald outcast was still on his knees breathing heavily with a Selanic dagger lodged in his side.  “Was this you?”  Asked the Marshal, the accusatory tone had left his voice. 

“Well I had a little help from a friend,” said Trede. 

“Indeed, it was a group effort I suppose.  Though I was a late arrival,” replied Traz. 

The marshal balanced his large mutlti-chamber revolving rifle over his shoulder.  “I appreciate the assistance,” he said as looked around and saw several outcast bodies strewn about the street, “but what are you two doing out this late at night?”

“I’ve never been one for sleeping in,” said Trede, “not that anyone could sleep in a warzone like this.”

“What do you suppose brought on the ire of these wretched men?” asked Traz.  Though he lived in the area, he was not very familiar with the outcasts and their history in the northeast. 

The marshal paused for a moment and thumbed his blond bearded chin.  “Lucky for us, we have someone to interrogate and find out.”  Langhorne walked over to the bald outcast whose eyes were barely open.  The marshal grabbed his jaw under then neck between his thumb and fingers.  “Who are you?  Why are you here?”  He asked sternly. 

“I am Skaff.”  There was a pause.  “And we all do as Rott says…” Said the outcast. 

“Rott?  Who is that, your new leader?”  Marshal had heard rumors that the outcasts would always have a primary leader to rule over all of the wastes, but with their volatile nature leaders didn’t last long. 

Skaff only grunted. 

“Why would you attack us?  We don’t have anything of great value or importance here.”  Marshal stared Skaff straight in the eyes. 

“Rott would not say so.”  Skaff coughed in a guttural voice. 

“What is it you want then?”  The marshal’s voice was getting more intense and he was almost yelling. 

“Ask your friend there with the fancy gun.”  Skaff replied knowingly while nodding in Trede’s direction. 

The marshal’s gaze quickly turned to Trede.  “What is he taking about Trede?”
“What?!”  Trede took a step back, he had no idea what Skaff was talking about.  “No, I don’t know these people!” 

“You’re going to need to give me more than that.” Said the marshal turning back to Skaff.  
Skaff coughed again, and seemed to be drifting off as his head tilted forward.  
“I’m not done with you yet!”  Langhorne shook Skaff by the shoulder.  “What does Trede have to do with this?”

“Rott says…”  It was obvious Skaff was having a hard time remaining conscious.  “He says, he’s got something.  Something that doesn’t belong t’…”  Skaff went quiet. 

Traz looked close as his whiskers twitched, “He’s still breathing, just barely.  Thought I will need that blade back sooner than later.”

Marshal stood slowly and then turned towards Trede.  To Trede’s surprise, Langhorne pulled his rifle off his shoulder and pointed it directly at him.  “You need to come with me.”  Marshal’s voice changed to a deep monotone. 

“Whoa, I said I don’t know these people…”  Trede took another step back.  
“I’ll admit it’s speculative at best, but I can’t let this go.  If you have something the outcasts want, no one in Smisom is safe not even yourself.  I’m taking you back to the marshal office and locking you up until I can get some answers.”

“Look, I don’t have anything that belongs to them.  You have to believe me!”

“I can’t take your word for it this time.  Do you see these burning buildings?!  Do you know how many people died tonight?”  Langhorne took the safety of his town more seriously than all else, and was not willing to allow the slightest risk.  If there was the smallest chance Trede was drawing the outcasts here, he would have to act.  “No.  No talking yourself out this time.  You’ll be coming with me.  Let’s go.”  Langhorne gestured back towards the center of town with the tip of his large rifle. 

Trede paused staring back at the marshal in disbelief.  He felt like his heart had nearly stopped as he tried to think of what to do.  “I can’t get locked up, not now.  I’m not sure if I really want to go to Sedenza right now either, but no way am I getting jailed.”  Trede’s thoughts raced quickly as he looked over to Traz.  Trede couldn’t tell what, but Traz was up to something.  His eyes squinted and ears flickered.  Without so much as another twitch he leapt into action.  He pulled one dagger out of the unconscious Skaff’s side and jumped towards the marshal.  In a single swiping motion he slashed at the marshal’s rifle, knocking it out of his hands.  He then immediately ran to collect his second dagger which still in the side of another downed outcast. 

Trede didn’t waste any time.  He ran to grab his gunstaff off the ground then went straight to the nearest alleyway.  “Come on Traz!” he shouted.

The two disappeared into the darkness and smoke.  Langhorne stood alone in the middle of the dirt street as the bright embers of burning wooden buildings continued crackling and slowly falling apart.  He bent down to pick up his six-chambered rifle as his blood boiled.  He was almost too angry for words.  “Running is as good as guilty in my book.” He said in a deep guttural tone and took off running into the dark.  


“OK Trede there’s only one market in this dinky little town and it’s midday, where are you?”  Cassidy’s wandering thoughts accidentally spoken out loud garnered some strange looks from a few nearby merkants.  She had been in the marketplace for nearly an hour and was rapidly losing patience.  She triple-checked her mobile timepiece to make sure she had the correct time, which of course she did.  She browsed the market wondering if there was anything mildly interesting to look at to pass the time.  At that moment there was one outdoor shop that caught her eye.  It was mostly covered in the shadow of one of the larger merkant offices, but the slightest gleam of chromed metal was still very noticeable. 

“Hey!  A parts shop, maybe they have something good.”  Cassidy always had an eye out for a useful spare part or two.  Whether or not she needed it for an invention build right away, she knew it never hurt to have a few extra components on hand. 

She slowly walked along the front of the shop as she browsed through the wares on display.  “No, I already have a better mini turbine actuator than that.  That ratchet set isn’t bad though,” she thought as she continued looking.  Then she noticed there wasn’t even anyone watching the shop.  “Man, what if I had a question about something, pretty lousy way to run a business.”

“Can I interest you in something particular?”  Said a voice.  She looked around, but couldn’t quite tell where the voice had come from.  Suddenly a Selahnic paw appeared on the counter as Traz stood up. 

“Were you hiding under there?  He-  Hey where’s Trede?” She asked. 

“He’s around back hiding.  We had a bit of a run-in with some locals last night, so Trede thought it best stay out of sight for a bit,” said Traz.

“Oh, I see.”  Cassidy’s mind reeled to figure out what Trede could’ve done since last night’s dinner to get in such trouble.  She knew she was still on a bit of thin ice with him, so she stashed away her curiosity for a moment. 

“Can, can I see him?”  She asked tentatively while leaning in a little closer. 

“Oh my yes!”  Traz smiled.  “He’s quite exhausted from the whole ordeal, I doubt he’s up for much of anything but a simple chat at this point anyway.” 

Traz began walking back to the alley behind the parts shop.  Cassidy quickly glanced around the street to see if anyone was watching, but it didn’t appear there was.  She stepped behind the shop’s storefront facade and into the well shaded alley. 

Trede was sitting there on the ground slouching back onto the wall of the alley.  He did look exhausted, but he sat up straight once Cassidy entered the alley. 

“The market at midday, told you I’d be here.”  Trede said with a weak smile. 

“Wow, when the recruiter said you weren’t one to sit in one place for long I had no idea he meant stuff like this, I mean�"  Oh, but not like I was really told that much in detail…”  Cassidy corrected herself, she remembered from last night Trede was no so fond of being surveilled. 

“It’s fine.”  Trede said.  “I’m not really worried about it.”

“Well, that’s good to hear.  Listen, so you know why I’m here, so I won’t waste your time.  The guild wants you, the could really use you, and you’ll be well taken care of both in a intellectually challenging and financial sense, it really is-”  Cassidy was interrupted gently. 

“I’ll go.  I’ve already decided and I agree with you.  This is a really great opportunity, so I’ll go.”  Trede was uncharacteristically direct, Cassidy was a bit taken aback.  She stood there eyes widened trying to think of how to respond. 

“You- You will?!”

“Yeah, I think I’ve outgrown Smisom at this point anyway.  It’s time to move on to what’s next,” said Trede. 

“Wow, you won’t regret it, this really is an amazing opportunity, just wait until we reach the main research complex in Sedenza, the things you’ll see!”  Cassidy straightened out her posture, more so the usual, and began her formal speech.  “I bid you welcome as the newest member of the Cytech Inventors Guild!  May your future be bright, and your ideas be bountiful!”  She reached out her hand straight with a genuine smile on her face. 

Trede stood up and shook her hand.  He didn’t show any real emotion on his face, but Cassidy assumed it was because he had been up all night. 

“So when do you want to leave?”  She asked.

“Today.”  Said Trede.  “I’m ready to go now.” 

“Whoa, ok.  I uh.. I can do that.  What’s the carrier scheduled today?”  Cassidy paused and rifled through her pockets to find a booklet of the schedule.   

“There’s one leaving in about an hour and half, it’s going straight to Sedenza.”  Said Trede.

“Oh!  I’ll go check out of the Inn and meet you at the landing tower in an hour.”  Cassidy was extremely excited but tried to contain herself.  “This is PERFECT!  I’m out of town ahead of schedule and with a successful recruitment, this will get me to full inventor privileges in no time!

“Good, I’ll be there.”  Said Trede.

We’ll be there, I’m due for a trip to the big city anyway.”  Said Traz. 

“Have you been there before?”  Said Cassidy who was still beaming. 

“Never once!  So I figure I’m due.”  Traz smiled.  “Until then!”

Cassidy excused herself and rushed off to make ready for the trip. 

Trede turned to Traz and spoke, “I told you, you don’t have to come.  You’ve done enough already.”
“And I told you it’s not often I get visitors in the forest, yet you came anyway.  No I think I should come with you to Sedenza.  You know, to see some closure about this whole ordeal.  We Selahns are very much into seeing things through.  Besides, I’m just as much on the Marshal’s bad side as you are at this point, I should be leaving town as well.”  Traz winked. 

The two stood there paused as Cassidy left their view completely.

“Do you think Cassidy has any idea why we’re rushing out of town?”  Asked Trede. 

“Perhaps a little.  Though for the time being, she’s getting what she’s been after all along so I don’t think she’ll suspect anything.” 

“I hope you’re right.”  Trede paused and his thoughts drifted back to his run in with the man in black named Maej the previous night.  While Cassidy didn’t know the real reason why Trede was so eager to leave town, not even Traz knew the real reason why Trede wanted to go to Sedenza.  Trede knew he was really going out on a limb, but was willing to chance the slightest hope.  “This Maej person, I really hope he knows what he’s talking about.”  Thought Trede. 

“You ready?”  Asked Traz, interrupting Trede’s thoughts. 

“Yeah, let’s get going.  It’s going to take a while to get to the landing tower while avoiding the marshal and his scouts.”  Trede answered.  The two cautiously moved out of the back of the alley. 

© 2010 Johnzo

Author's Note

This is the most extensive action sequence so far, does it work for people? Any comments about overall flow are greatly appreciated. Also, this is 1st draft, probably some errors here and there.

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Wow, i loved the chapter. instant action and Trede with a change of personality, it seems, to me anyways. Liked at the end with Traz's comment. Could only imagine the attention he'll grab. And i didn't notice any typos, though ill admit i was to busy reading the action o.o. Can't wait for the next.

Posted 14 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


[send message][befriend] Subscribe
Wow, i loved the chapter. instant action and Trede with a change of personality, it seems, to me anyways. Liked at the end with Traz's comment. Could only imagine the attention he'll grab. And i didn't notice any typos, though ill admit i was to busy reading the action o.o. Can't wait for the next.

Posted 14 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Added on January 24, 2010
Last Updated on January 24, 2010



Bridgton, ME

For more info on my little world, visit: -Latest post: 2nd Draft Preview My favorite stories are usually ones that have a bigger world behind them, a story behind the story that.. more..

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