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#21
Samuel_David

Samuel_David
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Chapter 9

 

Dulce et Decorum Est

 

The little path between the debris of the former compound served as the perfect route to avoid possible enemies: cautiously she scurried over to a solid block of stone that had once served as fundament of a watchtower. Now it only seemed to mock the feeling of security it had given to the long dead inhabitants of this place. A short glance, then she started again to move. It had been a few days since she had eaten anything for the last time: food had become a rare commodity in the ruins of the selfsame city that had meant protection and nourishment to hundreds of thousands before. She knew instinctively she had to find something to eat: the alternative would be a growing pain in her intestines, seizures, and a slow death somewhere in the ubiquitous decay of that dying city. Then she stopped abruptly and raised her head. With a growing agitation she scanned the road in front of her: first only a faint rattling, that strange sound became louder and louder. She stretched her muzzle as far as she could and sniffed the air. It was a smell that told only one single story: the story of violent death. She didn’t hear the shot, nor did she see the bullet. She only felt an intense pain for a split second when she was hit and her entrails splattered against the solid stone behind her.

 

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"There’s nothing more important than effective range in compound raiding”.

 

Elmo lowered his sniper rifle and distorted his face into a toothless caricature of a grin. “Oi! Got dat little sucker. Fucked dat fucking rat with ma Suzie here”. He turned around and punched Bubba in his back. “What’s it this time, Elmo? Don’t waste my time by telling me you shot another one of that vermins. Damn you, I’ve to hold that beast on the road, you stupid redneck idiot”. Elmo waved his hands in front of his face and started to blather, “Oh, Mista I-can-drive-dat-baby-bedda-dan-you behaves as if he’s someding bedda. Huhuhu! I’m scared”. “Oh, shut up, Elmo. You’re the stupidest bastard I’ve ever met”. Bubba concentrated again on steering the huge vehicle on course. Humongo had given them the order to get it into position for the next raid: a strongly fortified compound that had held off every attempt to overcome its defences so far. Humongo had stood in the remains of an adjacent apartment tower, watching the compound and its defences for almost an hour. He had carefully studied the guards in the towers, the men at the gates, the women and children inside. Then he had abruptly turned around and simply said: “Get Big Bertha and put her on yonder hill. There’s nothing more important than effective range in compound raiding”.

 

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“But I only asked you to test my compound defences”. - “I did. They were bad”.

 

“But I only asked you to test my compound defences”, the wounded man stuttered desperately as he tried to crawl away from his pursuer. He only saw the silhouette of a single man against the burning fire consuming the scarce buildings that had been used by him and a few others. That man didn’t seem to be in any hurry: his movements were slow and deliberate, as if he had all the time in the world. “I did. They were bad”. Every single syllable of these few words resonated a coolness that made the wounded’s blood run cold. His hands tried frantically to claw into the ground, to find some hold to move him forward, away from that nemesis who had come to get him. “Bartovsky, please. That’s just not fair. I just asked for your advice”. The man addressed as Bartovsky came out of the fiery glow of the burning compound, and the wounded could see his face. Some cold blue eyes beneath bushy eyebrows focussed on him. The bald forehead was covered with deep wrinkles. The long white hair was gently waving in the evening breeze. The mouth was hardly discernible amid the long white beard. The man stopped in front of the wounded, pulling a gun out of his holster and aimed at the wounded’s face while the buildings behind him collapsed into a cloud of dust and smoke. “Have you ever read Horace? In one of his poems, he says, ‘dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’. That stupid moron had no idea about dying”. Then he pulled the trigger.

 

Jeb was sitting in his Pronto M61 and enjoyed this wonderful evening. They had just finished supper. John was still slurping his coffee while Moses was already cleaning his automatic rifle. “Don’t be afraid, sweetie. You’re in good hands now. If somebody wants to get you, he has to pry you from my cold dead hands”, he whispered soothingly while he caressed its barrel with a polishing rag. John was watching him over the brim of his cup, hardly hiding a widening grin. “Son, if I’ve ever seen a crazy old Hebrew, that dude over there is one. Hey, Moses. Bet you cheated when you divided the Red Sea. Come on, tell me your secret. How did you do it?” Moses just looked at him and shook his head, “John, you’re an idiot”. “I wouldn’t make it a habit of calling me that, son”, was the Duke's only reply before he continued sipping his coffee. Jeb just wanted to start telling one of his war stories when suddenly a deafening blast interrupted the peaceful atmosphere of this evening. It was shortly afterwards followed by another and yet another blast. “That is artillery,” Jeb commented on the obvious. “Who the heck is using artillery? Damn, this city is getting worse from day to day”.

 

Zulchi's Next Chapter

 

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Edited by Samuel_David, 24 September 2013 - 01:02 PM.

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#22
zulchi

zulchi
  • 72 posts

Zulchi's War Doctrine

 

 

The most important philosophy of warfare is to not become your own enemy. 

 

The most important rule of warfare is compassion. Compassion will help you avoid warfare. You must have compassion not only for yourself and for your allies but also for your enemy. The universe is dynamic and the concepts of friend and foe are not in the least bit static. If you do not have compassion for your friends and treat them coldly or use them ruthlessly, they will turn into foes. If you preemptively kill your friends knowing that they could turn into foes, you will loss all your friends. If you treat a foe without compassion you will embolden them and if you kill them, you will loose the potential of having a valuable friend. As such, not having compassion will cause you to become your own enemy.  

 

The second most important rule of warfare is patience. Patience will help you avoid warfare. If you have been attacked then retaliating without strategy, tactical advantages and proper supplies will take you to your doom. Patiently study the attacker, excavate their motives if possible (this will help you understand their mental weaknesses), make sure that you are not being drawn out through petty provocations and make sure that you do not become the victim of a "false flag attack" lead from amongst your so called friends. When attacking: wait for opportunities, wait till your opponent lowers their guard, wait for strengthening of your own forces by giving them a sense of hope, rest, nourishment, and medication. Avoid above all else, repeated long battles. All these chores require utmost patience. As such, not having patience will cause you to become your own enemy. 

 

The third most important rule of warfare is forgiveness. Forgiveness will help you avoid warfare. Quick and unplanned retaliation is a dire mental weakness and apart from this kind of retaliation any other kind will never bring you a sense of closure or peace. Forgiving your enemy for their crimes against you and not retaliating is a way of forgiving yourself from the crimes of warfare that you could have committed against all creation. You are certainly a greater being if you forgive an attacker and such an act of courage and valor is certainly not going to be noticed by petty mortals. In the comparison between fragrance and stench, it is not within the design of fragrance to overpower stench but it is indeed within the design of stench to defile and overpower fragrance. If fragrance were to attempt to become forceful and unforgiving of the nature of stench, it would lose its subtlety and nobility while devolving into stench. You must be fragrance unto the world, you must be kind, caring, patient and forgiving. As such, not having forgiveness will cause you to become something worse than your own enemy — a loathsome enemy to all.  

 

Not avoiding warfare is already a way to become your own enemy. War is all consuming, all encompassing and completely devoid of shame or honor. There is no such thing as just war or holy war or honorable war. However, if you must war (yes I'm using war as a verb here) out of compulsion, then you must know that you will be nothing more than stench in this universe. But! Perhaps you may choose to devolve into stench in a manner that causes least amount of loss of compassion, patience and forgiveness. It is certainly true that all parties loose in a war including those who think they have no stake in other people's war. Especially, the by-standing noncombatants who are classified as "collateral damage" are the most tragic casualties of war. So be earnestly concerned about the well being of those simple people who want nothing to do with combat because if you don't, then there will be no one else left to do so and only stench will remain in this realm. 

 

So if you detect a war, you must bring an end to it while preserving as much compassion, patience and forgiveness as possible amongst all beings while not turning into stench like the rest of warmongers. 

 

For strategies and tactics of warfare heed to: Art of War


Edited by zulchi, 20 September 2013 - 06:23 PM.

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#23
zulchi

zulchi
  • 72 posts

Usual morbid apocalyptic stuff...

 

 

In that moment when Palevski smashed the cannibal I forgot all about myself and I didn't even realize how I had snatched the shovel from him to defend Rebecca. A hoard of cannibals had appeared right next to her from the corner of our office building. I swung wildly in every direction, sometimes slicing the jaws or head of the cannibals with the edge of the shovel. There were too many of them and I think I even saw Larry, our CEO amongst the horde. I couldn't confirm, all I knew is that they weren't going down with the flat end of the shovel. I raised the shovel all the way up over my head and brought it down with all my strength on Larry's forehead. The steel went right through his skull all the way down to his nose, in between his eyes. Larry made a murmuring sound, a trickle of blood ran down his nose, he took a few staggering steps about him and fell down on his back with the shovel lodged in his head. 

 

I stood there, tired and panting, looking ahead at the score of cannibals that were attacking my colleagues when a loud clap went off exactly beside my left ear and I fell down with a ringing sound in my head. I looked up and Rebecca was holding a PM9. She took few more shots and I saw a few cannibals fall by my feet. There was just carnage everywhere.

 

I got up and shook my head.

 

"Where the hell did you get that gun?" I yelled at Rebecca. I could barely hear my own voice with the ringing sound still echoing in my head.

 

"I always carry it with me, it was a gift from my grandpa!"

 

I'm sure she yelled that at me but all I could hear were muffled voices. She took a few more shots but many more cannibals seem to come from around the corner of the building.

 

Rebecca then grabbed my arm and pulled me around towards the parking lot. Palveski was in his pickup truck. He leaned forward and opened the passenger side door, gesturing me to get in. Rebecca pushed me and I fell face forward on the steering wheel setting off the horn. She got in and kept shooting out the window as Palveski screeched across the front side of our building, bouncing over some dead bodies and then burst over the sidewalk onto the road. He had the gas pedal floored all the while and I think for ten or fifteen minutes I was just bouncing from side to side between Rebecca's and Palevski's shoulders as we tried to steer around blood dripping cannibals on the street. But we actually couldn't avoid them all and a few got rolled over.

 

I tried to ask Palveski to calm down and slow down the car, a couple of times. A few minutes later, what I said seemed to have registered in him.

 

"Where are we going man?" I asked Palev. The ringing in my head was gone and it was nice to be able to hear myself again.

 

"I need to get my daughter out of her school!" Palveski sounded nervous and I kind of knew what he was thinking about. I'm sure that he didn't want to admit that something could have happened to his daughter but looking at how the entire city was sprawling with these things the worst of all thoughts could not be blocked out of our minds.

 

"Hey Palveski, my grandpa is in an old age home a few blocks ahead on this street, to the right. I want you to let me out when we get there." 

 

I could hear the same nervousness in Rebecca's voice. 

 

"Yeah, ok. I have my daughter's school, just few blocks ahead, too."

 

"Wow! That was one hellovaday! Wasn't it, pall?" I heard a corny voice call out from behind me. I didn't need to turn around to see who was in the truck's bed. I knew that voice. My constant companion was with me even during dooms day. 


Edited by zulchi, 20 September 2013 - 06:20 PM.

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#24
zulchi

zulchi
  • 72 posts

Hmh, first impression is that this piece still needs a lot of work. He uses an end rhyme, but there is no discernible rhyme scheme, and the rhymes themselves need to be polished up. The different lines are irregular: he uses both iambs and trochees indifferently, sometimes even in the same line which makes for a very rude metric pattern.

 

 

I tried to read it aloud: the entire text fits more into a hip hop or rap rhythm, but this is only speculation on my part. The text itself is nice, but it definitely needs some further work on it.

 

P.S.: Damn, I sound like some fucking teacher again. ;)

 

lol 

 

true, i've not read literary criticism since high school... and that was a loooong time ago. i personally like the poem for its message and for the fact that it doesn't rhyme. it doesn't have some sophisticated choice of syllabi either. i think using a regular style of poetry writing would not have matched the crudeness of the dead zone. i pictured it like a rap song with two or three artists, each artist forcefully blurting out a lines one after another.   

 

and i do suppose you could pick up a worthwhile job as a school teacher, "properly" coaching kids on the nuances of literature and poetry if you already aren't doing that ;)


Edited by zulchi, 20 September 2013 - 06:38 PM.

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#25
Samuel_David

Samuel_David
  • 117 posts

and i do suppose you could pick up a worthwhile job as a school teacher, "properly" coaching kids on the nuances of literature and poetry if you already aren't doing that ;)

 

I did that before I fell ill: taught British literature and writing at university, but that's history now. And by the way, that rap is by Raw_the _Warrior: he's done a lot of them, quite interesting stuff.

 

And now I'm gonna read your posts. :)

 

Just finished reading your doctrines of war. Nice. Read Sun Tzu some time ago. Niccolo Machiavelli has also some interesting ideas about warfare, but he stresses the importance of militias too much. Personally, I prefer Lord Kitchener when it gets to breaking the morals of your enemy. If they have nothing to fight for anymore, they are defeated.


Edited by Samuel_David, 20 September 2013 - 07:06 PM.

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#26
Samuel_David

Samuel_David
  • 117 posts

Usual morbid apocalyptic stuff...

 

Ah, I love that post! Had to laugh hard when I read the passage about Rebecca's handgun, certainly made my day. Hope Palevski's daughter is doing fine. :)

 

I just realized that we've two different time lines, makes for some interesting reading though. Your plot is situated on the day the city got overrun, mine is already a few months ahead, but as I'm slowing down pace now that I've introduced almost all major and minor characters you  should catch up one day.

 

Damn, I think I'm going to write another chapter tonight. Your writing really got me into the mood. It's time to introduce the arch-villain, the Controller, who's behind all that superfluous bloodshed. I actually wanted to elaborate on the Teachers as well, but the actual model surpasses all my satirical abilities by far, so I will simply drop that storyline. After all there are two main plots and a number of subplots already.


Edited by Samuel_David, 20 September 2013 - 08:10 PM.

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#27
zulchi

zulchi
  • 72 posts

hey david,

 

happy new year. i guess sept was a long time ago and for that matter yesterday was a year ago. but hopefully today and every tomorrow will bring wonderful joy and satisfaction. 

 

i'm going to make this story move forward... i promise.

 

best,

zulchi


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#28
Sky_Fall

Sky_Fall
  • 1,222 posts

EDIT: (Forget this post)


Edited by Sky_Fall, 05 April 2014 - 03:15 PM.

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#29
zulchi

zulchi
  • 72 posts

hi david,

 

its been a long while, and i didnt keep my promise. i am sorry. but i wanted to know if u r still there. 

 

best,

zulchi


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#30
Sky_Fall

Sky_Fall
  • 1,222 posts

Yeah... I did like the story. I want more.


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#31
Daddy of Con

Daddy of Con
  • 172 posts

Damn man, this was a really good fanfic. It's a shame it was never finished. Wherever you are Samuel David, I wish you the best of luck.


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#32
Samuel_David

Samuel_David
  • 117 posts

Hi everybody,

 

it took me quite a long time to recover, but I'm feeling better now and life slowly returns to its ordinary routine. Sorry for breaking this thread off so abruptly, zulchi, but sometimes life hits you harder than you can manage.

 

I'm not really sure if I should continue this thread. I read it a few days ago and found some of the writing actually pretty good. But then again it's like reading someone else's writing. I still like the characters very much, and there are still good opportunities to develop the plot. Some of the players I drew my inspiration from are gone by now, Wasteland Raiders, always a good laugh, has ceased to exist. The Scholars still exist, but their most hilarious players are relics of the past as well. Admittedly, I've already met self-righteous bigots and highly entertaining and hilarious keyboard warriors, and the number of topless selfies among the Facebook users is enormously exhilarating. There are many new aspects of the game worth satirizing, so it could be that I'll continue this thread. Who knows?

 

The Church of Mayhem as an active alliance is also a relic of the past, so is the idea of an active role-playing experiment here in the forum. This would be just another fan-fic among others. Have I ever said that I hate fan-fic?

 

Thank you zulchi, Sky_Fall and The Mentor for your kind words. I really appreciate that. :)


Edited by Samuel_David, 14 March 2015 - 03:31 PM.

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#33
Sky_Fall

Sky_Fall
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http://en.wikipedia...._et_Decorum_est

 

Is this that Chapter 9 thing? Hmm, and I've taken a cue from you to add some peculiar titles too, since it seems to give this erudite feel to it. I also have to edit my own work, since I found out that I have to work on my grammar quite a bit to make the story more readable.


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#34
Samuel_David

Samuel_David
  • 117 posts

Yes, the reference is to Owen's "Dulce and Decorum Est" which in itself is a reference to Horace's aphorism.

 

To incorporate some learning into your writing is a good idea, but be careful: too much of it is tedious. I've read novels which were hardly readable simply because the author wanted to show off his vast knowledge: however, in the worst case the author was female and a professor of English literature. But then again I've read way too many novels anyway.

 

Grammar is always important in writing: language is the tool you use to convey your ideas. If you cannot use your tool properly, you cannot work with it.


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#35
zulchi

zulchi
  • 72 posts

Hey Samuel_David!

 

I'm so glad you are up and about. It is really good to hear from you again. I do hope things are much better at your end than before and that your future holds promises worth struggling for. 

A year ago at this time I was frantically preparing to go to Italy to do research on neurological basis of cognition using fMRI. By August of 2014 after working with fMRI, MEG, EEG and loads of programming I concluded that decades worth of research in that area is just a lie. In November 2014 I got booted from the PhD program I was in for publishing my findings. Turns out there is a global nexus amongst top universities to get government money in the name of "cognitive science" while deliberately hiding the flaws in the research.

Since then I've been working on getting a startup going. No success in liftoff yet :P

I would like to continue this story of "dead zone misfits" in its own channel. What I suggest is that we make it a blog where we can be authors to it. If you want I can set up the blog. 

 

For me, collaborative writing (composing or developing or creating) has been an obsession since 2007 and even my current startup idea is based on real time collaboration. 

 

Even if the players of this game are different the story doesn't have to draw from this game, I'm not a fanboy who writes fanfic. I'm just interested in characters and plot. Characters do change while plots do twist and turn ;)

 

Get in touch with me mate: zulchi [dot] penekwa [at] gmail [dot] com

 

Cheers 

 

^_^

 

ps: i hadn't read this in a while and yes it is good. i also had forgotten that i was writing about some guy with a "beautiful mind"


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