Chrysanthemum in the Snow [fic]

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Chrysanthemum in the Snow [fic]

Unread postby Nekogami » Tue Jul 30, 2002 10:07 pm

(I'm gonna try to write a story NOT for a comic book. Usually I write with the idea of me drawing it later on. But I'll try to write something not sucky unless put into picture.)

<center>--Chapter 1-- Into The Lion's Den</center>


Autumn in Valth was always cold. Without the lush forests like those of Kalshana or Riva it was hard to tell when summer melted into fall or when the fall drifted into winter. Spring came when the snows melted and the grass grew green, summer came when the chrysanthemums bloomed, fall and winter were almost indistinguishable from each other. The heavy snows of fall expanded into the vicious blizzards of deep winter, making life in the northern land miserable.

Perched in between two large hills, their height exaggerated by several feet of snow, was the city of Dialin. Snow swirled in all directions between the tall buildings and narrow alleys. The people hunkered down, clutching their scarves tighter around their mouths and noses and the trudged the well worn sidewalks in order to get to their destinations. Storeowners hurried outside to scrape away the compacted snow from in front of their shops, inviting the cold travelers to come inside and spend their money.

This was the best time for the stands call 'Steam Stops'. They were little stands that stayed perched on the Dialin corners year round, selling liquors and hot drinks to keep the Valthi warm. In the frigid air, steam circled like white marble pillars above them until it looked as though the pillars of steam were holding up the grey sky; a sky that always promised more snow and more misery.

Recently, Dialin revelled in a relative state of peace. Only the occasional gang war and corporate bombing rocked the otherwise quiet streets, so it was to be taken as a blessing when the news reported little other than reports of more snow and the occasional death a robber or such.

Sipping a warm cup of saké, a man of 22 or 25 was reading the news. Not for information or peace of mind but for the sheer pleasure of having his exploits recorded and feared. Above a picture of burning carriage was a caption in bold and striking letters:

<center> MURDER IN DIALIN! 5 DEAD AS GANG WAR PERSISTS</CENTER>

The man crushed the paper cup in his hand and tossed it carelessly to the ground. He rubbed rough black hairs on his chin with the back on of his hand, a habit for when he was thinking. For nearly a year, he had performed various tasks, endured tests of the all kinds, and erased his humanity to obtain the name 'Damascus'. It was a name that he prided while other feared. On his right forearm the black winding pattern of the Metal Lions gang that even held the law enforcement at bay. Even though the officers may chase, the efforts server only to keep the morale of the people up and their fears at bay.

It was that kind of feeling that filled this man's life. From living on the streets and wastes of others, to controlling the streets and acquiring riches and power beyond the dreams of even the hardest working stiffs of Dialin. It was for a good cause.

Damascus put on a furred hat that cover his now red ears from the wind and biting snows and tossed the now crumpled newspaper on the corner where he stood. He tramped over the drifts of slush made by the ploughs pulled by the woolly warca to clear the streets of the deep snow. He marched determinedly passed the shouting vendors and catcalls of the street girls searching out a good fare or a place to keep warm until the next day. Ignoring everything until he reached a tall brick and steel building with stone sign that said 'Haguin Apartments' on the front, Damascus finally let out a sigh of relief. Inside his small apartment was a warm stove and a warm bed. He pulled open the heavy wooden door to the building and jogged up the three flights stairs. Upon reaching his floor, he took of his furr hat to shake loose the snow and ice and stomp his boots free of the winter as well. He struggled around his pockets to find his keys that were all attached to a metal coil and singled out one of the brass ones to slip into the lock.

The young Valthman's hopes and desires for a relaxing night in the warmth and comfort of his home was soon melted away in the light of a note on his door.

The king of all creature here lies,
Not rancor, nor dragon infiltrates his pride,
Assemble his warriors, assemble his men
Come and fill with cries the lion's den.


With a reluctant sigh and nod, Damascus shoved his hat about his ears then ripped the note from his door and stuffed it into his pocket. As he jogged down the stair, he couldn't help but to rub the hairs on his chin.


Deep in a snug alley, hidden behind slabs of old wood was a door. It may once have been red or green or yellow, but through the years the paint had chipped away in places, leaving an unkempt mosiac of color. The handle was green with age, though once it gleamed copper. The door jamb was bowed and warped and nails stuck out where previous owners had tried to repair it or hang signs.

The building it was in faired little better, windows on the front were busted out from Valthi children who aimed to test their skill and arm. Boards nailed in a cross fashion over a few low to the ground, warding away beggars and vagabonds who hoped to find solace from the weather. The stair were crooked and crumbled from an earthquake that only graybeards remember. Crude messages were painted across the sides and old strips of flyers flapped like tassles.

Damascus looked up at the building then down both sides of the street. It wasn't busy. Most people were indoors listening to music boxes or huddled around the fire. He slipped into the alley way unnoticed. Even between two large buildings the snow was at least knee deep. Damascus waded through the snow to the door and wrapped it with his knuckles in a rhythm. There was a slight pause and the door creaked open where it was before locked.

He gave another brief look about he alleyway before crawling inside. The door was shut and locked with a click behind him, though he could not see in the heavy darkness who had locked it. He ran his fingers alond the plastered wall down a long hallway to another door. The air was stale and musty though the smell of burning herbs seeped from under the door.

The Valthman wrapped his fingers again on the door but in a different pattern. Again there was a hesitation before the door swung open into small meeting hall. Rather for walls were constructed in part of what was an open warehouse. They did not bother with an elaborate ceiling but instead laid light slabs of light metal over the walls. Lanterns were set around the makeshift room on crates and large empty spools for ropes. This was the Lion's Den.

Damascus took his seat beside twenty other men. They all sat in silence looking nowhere though they'd cast their eyes about the room as if for spies. There was no fear of infiltration, however; in their fifty years of operation there was never a leak. For what seemed like hours, there was a slow but steady stream of men that entered the den. Until the room was full with two score plus of men the room was silent. When the last, solemn face took a seat by a lantern the door was locked and the meeting began.

'The pride of the kings,' barked a barrel chested man. He hair was thick and curly, blue as the ocean and it shone in the dim light.

'The hunt begins,' the men obediently responded.

'The pride of the Valthi.'

'We must defend.'

'Hello, my friends. We have a new mark." <p>
<center><table border = 1><tr><td><center>Image
"You're cruel." "I am?"
"Yes. You are." "I aaam?"
"Yes. You are." "....Well, what can you do? *sigh*" --Nadeisco</center>

<center> 2 Sugoi!~~Mmm, Mechage RPGWW style!~~Live Journal</center></td></tr></table></center></p>Edited by: Nekogami&nbsp; Image at: 8/11/02 4:22:51 am

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pd Rydia
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Re: Chrysanthemum in the Snow [fic]

Unread postby pd Rydia » Tue Jul 30, 2002 10:22 pm

Ooooooh... o.o

Mystery...

*has her brain fried so has no constructive criticism ATM* <p><hr width="47%"><small>Quotes of the moment:
-=- "Eat chicken, live forever...until you die, then you're screwed." -- Matt
-=- "*Dilute them bloodlines! Make Hitler roll in his grave!*" -- Uncle Pervy
-=- "Inorafeeb eedrayob fehc tae dna ekawa llahs slived." -- Bloodhound Gang
-=- "I exist to celebrate the onion." -- 'Pepito,' (mis)translation of Pablo Neruda's «Oda a la cebolla».</p>

Uncle Pervy
 

Re: Chrysanthemum in the Snow [fic]

Unread postby Uncle Pervy » Wed Jul 31, 2002 3:48 am

Nicely set up, Neko ^^

If I may make a tiny suggestion. There were a lot of paragraphs where you started with the word Damascus. Personally, I try to avoid that sort of repetition when I can. I find that have a variety of openers lets it read a little better. Try changing a few a around and look through it again and see if you agree with me.

A very interest bit. Modern world stories usually dun catch me.

Fun fact: One of my RP Characters Elsewhere is named Djim Damascasi (Trans: Of Damascus). I love that irony. <p><table align="center" cellpadding=2><tr><td>Image</td><td align="center">Rum, White Magic, an' Cabbits.
That's th' life fer me.

Seig No-Pants!</td><td>Image</tr></table></p>

Nekogami
 
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Re: Chrysanthemum in the Snow [fic]

Unread postby Nekogami » Wed Jul 31, 2002 5:53 pm

Sankyuu, Pervy. Actually, it's in present-day Valth which is pretty modern, I guess. I would reread my stuff but I usually end up hating it and never getting it posted but I'll watch out for all teh stuff next time. <p>
<center><table border = 1><tr><td><center>Image
"You're cruel." "I am?"
"Yes. You are." "I aaam?"
"Yes. You are." "....Well, what can you do? *sigh*" --Nadeisco</center>

<center> 2 Sugoi!~~Mmm, Mechage RPGWW style!~~Live Journal</center></td></tr></table></center></p>

Choark
 

Re: Chrysanthemum in the Snow [fic]

Unread postby Choark » Thu Aug 01, 2002 7:45 am

I'll admit to not being 100% in a reading mood right now, so I actually skipped a few lines here and there (a bad habit I got into years ago.. but also the only way i could get through Lord Of the Rings (which are also the only books I've managed to skip entire chapters on and not miss anything other then long speeches about what they have done 9_9) )

Anyway, I loved what ya did *nods* >> The main guy seemed like a badguy from what i read. . . but I could be getting the wrong idea ^^;; I always tend to do

I'll defiantly re-read this (and all of it) when I'm in a more reading mood *nods*

It was also well written. You sure you don't write more often? And erm

>>
<<

Want more!


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Re: Chrysanthemum in the Snow [fic]

Unread postby Nekogami » Fri Aug 02, 2002 4:16 pm

-- Into the Lion's Den--

Grabbing a rickety chair and spinning it backwards, the curly haired leader, Adam, seated himself. He studied the assembly carefully for some time, examining the faces of his men, digging deeply under their stern faces to peer into their souls.

'The chief sales administrator for the Niaruz Gun manufacturer is coming to little Dialin for some buisness," he said not hiding the mockery in his tone. A few chuckled softly. 'It's our duty to give them a warm welcome then kick them the hell out.' She stood up and began to pace around the small room where there was space. 'Too long our land has been ravaged by corporate scum. Men with their money, and women, and houses, and this, that, and all the others!' He motioned strongly with his hands as he spoke.

'But where are we, brothers?' Adam stressed at a small group of men. 'Where are any of us?! I'll tell you...crushed beneath the heals of titans.' He pointed to a young man. 'This boy works for a small part of Seiram. Sure, he prints newspapers but the newspaper is sponsored by Seiram. He works for Seiram.' Adam laughed wryly. "We're all slaves. What we need is reform. All men created equal. Everyone making their fair share and no man growing too strong. Not a land of oppressors but a land of brothers!'

A few cheered emphatically while the others clapped. Adam nodded in approval and motioned for them to quiet down. 'Niaruz is a rising power in guns. Guns. Guns that kill in the hands of criminals. I say leave them to to the army that is supposed to protect us, not enslave us...AH! I am off topic. Niaruz is trying to get a strong foothold in the smaller towns and Dialin is relatively close to the sea; a good trade town. We won't let them take us! On the seventh hour after highmoon in three days, Ramke Viraii will be at sitting in his room at the Snow Mountain Inn, sipping his hot tea, nibbling his rich biscuits...' Again Adam mocked the corporate social etiquette. 'We're going to blow his mind! First....we're going to steal his papers. Find out what Niaruz has planned exactly now and for the future. Then....we're going to blow him up. As we speak, kegs of fire powder are being loaded in to the basement of the inn. So I need a few good men.'

The room was silent for a moment as Adam paced slowly. He paused after some time and picked out four men, one of whom was Damascus. His heart skipped a beat as Adam pointed him out. He quickly casted his eyes about him to be sure that it was he that was chosen. Indeed, the task had been appointed to him.

'Be ready men,' Adam boomed. Attendants handed the four chosen folders. 'Failure is not an option. Dismissed.'

Adam and a few other left the room, while the rest of the men began to talk amongst themselves. It would be no good for all of them to try and leave at once, disclosing the location of their hideout. Instead, they were to leave in groups of five at five minute intervals.

Damascus lined up at the door, looking down at the folder he was handed. He felt a hand on his shoulder and turned. An elderly man, silver hair trimmed short, stared hard at him. 'I don't need to tell you, young man, how important this mission is. Good luck.' Damascus smiled crookedly and nodded. The old man gave him a handshake and pat on the back before moving onto some of the other members.

It was strange. Old and young were so devoted to the cause of liberating Valth from the insanity that was plaguing their lives; yet withouth that chaos some of them would have so little in common. He himself was a loner. Once a simple gunsmith, he ran across a member of the Metal Lions that brought him before Adam. Adam, a great man, eloquent yet simple, strong and comforting. Within moments, Damascus found himself wrapped up in the words and beliefs that had swayed so many men into the welcoming folds of his organization.

(insert writer's block here v.v;;)
<p>
<center><table border = 1><tr><td><center>Image
"You're cruel." "I am?"
"Yes. You are." "I aaam?"
"Yes. You are." "....Well, what can you do? *sigh*" --Nadeisco</center>

<center> 2 Sugoi!~~Mmm, Mechage RPGWW style!~~Live Journal</center></td></tr></table></center></p>Edited by: Nekogami&nbsp; Image at: 8/11/02 4:26:58 am

Uncle Pervy
 

Re: Chrysanthemum in the Snow [fic]

Unread postby Uncle Pervy » Sun Aug 04, 2002 5:45 pm

1. Grabbing a rickety and spinning backwards, the curly haired leader, Adam, seated himself.

Rickety what?

2.Guns that kill in the hands of criminals. I say leave them to to the army that is supposed to protect us not enslave us...AH! I am off topic.

...us, not enslave...

3. Niaruz is trying to get a strong foothold in the smaller towns and Dialin is relatively close to the sea, a good trade town.

...sea; a good

4. Then....we're going to him up.

Blow?

5. Attendants handed the four chosen folders of papers.

Folders of papers reads a little awkward. I would say folders, or perhaps dossiers.

6. It was strange, old and young were so devoted to the cause of liberating Valth from the insanity that was plaguing their live yet withouth that chaos some of them would have so little in common.

Big evil run-on from hell!

Overall, no mistakes I haven't made at one point or another. Image

Aside from that, this is a good piece. I like the speech, and how the speaker kept going with his motions, and mocking the rich. ^^

Well done, Neko ^^ <p><table align="center" cellpadding=2><tr><td>Image</td><td align="center">Rum, White Magic, an' Cabbits.
That's th' life fer me.

Seig No-Pants!</td><td>Image</tr></table></p>

Nekogami
 
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Re: Chrysanthemum in the Snow [fic]

Unread postby Nekogami » Sun Aug 04, 2002 10:00 pm

X_X God I'm glad I wrote this. Now I remember why I DON'T write. I read it now and it sucks worst than space. I'm sticking to art. Thanks you guys for all your help and insight. <p>
<center><table border = 1><tr><td><center>Image
"You're cruel." "I am?"
"Yes. You are." "I aaam?"
"Yes. You are." "....Well, what can you do? *sigh*" --Nadeisco</center>

<center> 2 Sugoi!~~Mmm, Mechage RPGWW style!~~Live Journal</center></td></tr></table></center></p>

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pd Rydia
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aww...

Unread postby pd Rydia » Sun Aug 04, 2002 10:38 pm

Awww...I was really interested in seeing more of it... o.o It's not your best fic (I liked your Solasia fic the best, out of it, the Bottle Mercenaries, and this fic) but it's interesting and I'd like to see where it goes. o.o But if it's not fun for you to write, I can understand... <p><font color=navy><hr width="47%"><small>Hello, my name is Dia. I'm a dragongirl, and I bite. RAWR!<hr width="31%">Quotes of the moment:
-=- "Love is when your brain stops working." -- White Knight
-=- "Love is when 72 billion monkeys steal a porsche and drive it off a cliff." -- SuperRube
-=- "LOVE IS WAI." -- me</font></p>

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Re: Chrysanthemum in the Snow [fic]

Unread postby Nekogami » Sun Aug 11, 2002 1:12 am

((Had some wise words with a wise one, I did and t'was convinced to try again. *sigh* So again I try))

Into the Lion's Den

Damascus sat in his shop, shining and oiling a gun he had be fixing for days. It was an old type gun, the likes of which he had not seen in many years. Though obsolete in design and make, it was still a reliable gun; in the right hands the best six shooter ever made.

A shifty man brought him the gun just as he was closing one day. He did not say how it became broken but only that it was a family heirloom that he'd like to have fixed as soon as possible. The hammer had been broken and the barrel warped as if by fire. Damasascus couldn't help but to wonder what would a man be doing to cause so much damage to a pure metal gun. But these things were not his business. His business was guns not the whys and wheres of the people that brought them to his service.

As he began fitting the parts together, he let his mind drift. The other night a ship of merchants came in from Inustan. He had heard of the 'dog people' before but never before had seen them. The one he did see was a tall dogman with a slender head like a wedges and a very thing body. So thin that he had to wonder if he was perhaps a beggar or a refugee but the soon the dogman darted back to his boat with such speed he seemed to fly and surely no half starved refugee could move with such vigor.

He watched for hours the dogmen work and speak in their tongue. Something in him long to touch one or ask it questions about their land but he was wary of foreigners and these could come no more foreign. Had they had more human features, perhaps he would have approached but he couldn't bring himself to trust the inujin. Now as he sat behind his counter working he regretted in trepidation. Maybe one day he would take Common lessons and travel out from his harsh land. Maybe.


He fitted the gun back together complete and tested the trigger. He had to practically make the whole gun from a scratch. After a few satisfying clicks of the trigger, he slipped it into a felt pouch and placed it in cubby hole until the man came to retrieve it.

For a few hours, business was slow as usual. Most peasants that owned guns were too afraid to use them and hardly ever needed maintenance. His greatest service was to hunters that constantly wanted their shotguns given a good once over. It was a good deal most times; for his service he would give them a discount on price in return for a few pelts or cuts of meat. He wasn't the only smith in town but he was known to be the best.

'That Tzake Roukire,' they'd say, 'is a nice fellow and a nicer gunsmith. Now if I could get him to keep my wife from shooting her mouth off, I'd be a happy earthbound man.'

The thick wooden door swung open and a man came in shaking snow from his warca wool cap. His eyes were beady black and set close together like a rat. Tzake smiled and grabbed the gun he had be working on earlier from its hole and put it on the counter. He was prepared to show to the man that it was in working order when he was stopped.

"It's fine. I don't need to see that you've done it."

Tzake nodded and wiped his hands on his tunic. "Well...that will be 200 credits. It was pretty badly banged but it's such a blessing to even SEE one of these guns-much less work on one- that I went ahead and gave you a discount."

The man nodded though he was peering intently at Tzake. The gunsmith shifted awkwardly under the gaze and busied his hands again with his tunic. With a nod, the rat-eyed man replaced his fuzzy hat and slipped the gun into his jacket.

'Well, thank you all the same for coming to my shop,' Tzake smiled his trademark kindly smile and gave a short wave. 'I'd be glad to help you again sometime.'

The rat-eyed man stared at him again and nodded wordlessly before slipping back out into the cold. It felt like a heavy queerness had been dragged along with the man, leaving his shop much brighter and cheerier. Tzake shook his head and went back to work to brood over this another time. <p>
<center><table border = 1><tr><td><center>Image
"You're cruel." "I am?"
"Yes. You are." "I aaam?"
"Yes. You are." "....Well, what can you do? *sigh*" --Nadeisco</center>

<center> 2 Sugoi!~~Mmm, Mechage RPGWW style!~~Live Journal</center></td></tr></table></center></p>

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pd Rydia
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Re: Chrysanthemum in the Snow [fic]

Unread postby pd Rydia » Sun Aug 11, 2002 1:00 pm

Wow, I really liked this installment. The Valthi view of "dog people" and Common was especially nifty -- we normally RP and write fics from the point of view of people to whom inujin and Common are familiar things. I really like Dam's line of thinking on that.

His interchange with the customer was an impressive bit of characterization and foreshadowing, too. I'm impressed...no, really. That deserves a yadrepuppy plushie. ^_^

*gives Neko-san a Poopsie plushie*

Poopsie plsuhie: e\/e <p><font color=navy><hr width="47%"><small>Hello, my name is Dia. I'm a dragongirl, and I bite. RAWR!<hr width="31%">Quotes of the moment:
-=- "Love is when your brain stops working." -- White Knight
-=- "Love is when 72 billion monkeys steal a porsche and drive it off a cliff." -- SuperRube
-=- "LOVE IS WAI." -- me</font></p>

Uncle Pervy
 

Re: Chrysanthemum in the Snow [fic]

Unread postby Uncle Pervy » Wed Aug 14, 2002 7:56 pm

So Damascus tis Tzake, eh?

On the technical side of things, no flaws I caught aside from a misspelling on Damascus. I'd be a little friendlier with the commas, myself.

On the literary side, this is an Interesting piece of character building. The view on the Inujin was an interesting one, especially when contrasted with the stranger who had the pistol.

Also, it's nice to see where Damascus come from. I did not expect him to be a particularly respected person. This shall indeed be interesting <p><table align="center" cellpadding=2><tr><td>Image</td><td align="center">Rum, White Magic, an' Cabbits.
That's th' life fer me.

Seig No-Pants!</td><td>Image</tr></table></p>

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Gunsmith by Day, Revolutionary by... well... day too ^.^;;

Unread postby FF Fanatic 80 » Wed Aug 14, 2002 9:28 pm

Glad you decided to continue the fic Neko, and sorry for not commenting on it sooner v.v;;;

It's nice to see a point of view from one of the semi-lower class Valthi during the corporate wars, as well as the culture of Valthi itself. Like Pervy said, the bit with the Inujin was very interesting, Damascus is become a lot more interesting as this fic goes on.

I don't really have any constructive criticism for it, though, since I tend to view things with a 'nifty' or 'not so nifty' frame of mind, and the fic would be in the nifty category.

Also, methinks the Rat-eyed man will be making an appearance in Damascus/Tzake's life in the near future again ;)


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Edited by: [url=http://p068.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=pdrydia>pd]&nbsp; Image at: 6/10/05 16:56


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