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Edited by RagingRedhead: 6/12/2020 2:13:04 PM
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A Pair of Blades and a Bow (Story, A Memory of Skye)

[spoiler]Another one of Skye’s memories, since I couldn’t send it at the same time as my last story. This one is even longer than the last... so I’m going to have to split it into two parts here. However, I feel that it is an important “chapter”. It describes a bit more where she lived as well as explain how she got her longbow. Plus, I had fun writing this and really didn’t want to take out anything. This is the first part, the second will be posted below. Thank you to those who took the time to read this! Any tips and criticisms are welcome! [i]Edit: “a bhobain” is a Scottish Gaelic term of endearment for a child, meaning “my darling” or “my rascal”.[/i][/spoiler] [u][b]Part One[/b][/u] Finally, it was time! It had been less than twenty-four hours, but it felt like an eternity, and it was finally time! Skye laced up her boots excitedly. She had on her light jacket and a small leather knapsack at her back. She had everything she would need for her trip to the mountain with Errol. She even had her wooden longbow hooked over her shoulder, just in case there was time in the day to practice some archery. It would be the farthest she had ever been away from home, and she couldn’t wait to see what was waiting to be discovered. The sun had just risen over the horizon, and they would have all day to explore. The girl ran out of the little cottage they lived in. She shut the door behind her, and looked up to find her brother and father. She saw them by the shed nearby, but something was off. Lyle was handing Errol a pistol and holster, a stern expression on his face while his son seemed confused and concerned. He was speaking to him, though his voice was too low for Skye to hear what was being said. As she approached, their conversation immediately ended. She furrowed her brow. “What’s going on?” Lyle quickly smiled. “Nothing for you to worry about, a bhobain. Are you ready?” “Aye, I’m ready.” “Get going, then! The sooner you’re off, the more time you have to poke around. Keep a close eye on this rascal for a lass, Errol.” He gave each of his children a loving embrace. “I will, father. We’ll be back before sunset.” With that the two youths turned towards the forest, waving goodbye as they left. They walked about five miles north before they broke out of the trees, and another mile across an open field of rolling hills and lush green grass. The beginning of their trip was rather silent, as Errol was deep in thought. He was usually the one to start up a fun conversation, and his near refusal to speak worried his sister. However, he soon returned to joking and teasing her until they at last arrived at the mountain. No, it wasn’t so high it touched the clouds. It wasn’t clad in elegant cloaks of green, nor was it crowned by white snow. Like a weathered king declaring his dominance it sat solemnly on its ancient foundations that served as its throne, stretching as far as the eye could see to the west, and reaching the sea to the east. Its face was rough and worn by the harsh winds that came with winter. Even the sun hesitated to shine through the banners of grey that hung from the vaulted ceilings of the sky that was its palace. To many, this would have been a cold and less than desirable place to be, but to Skye and Errol this was a landscape of wonder and opportunity. Their ancestors would have roamed the lands beneath the mountain’s gaze, and there must have been dozens of caves and corners to search through. Who knew what was on the other side of the mountains? What sights would they see when they climbed to the top? Still, despite the anticipation they had to continue on with their adventure, Errol could see that Skye was becoming tired from their hike, which they accomplished without pausing for a break. So he took her to the base of the mountain, where a strange wall of thick vines had grown up a small portion of its side. Errol took a sip from his canteen and drew in a deep breath of cool, fresh and earthy air. “You’re getting better at your archery,” he said. Skye wrinkled her nose. “You weren’t watching me this morning, then. I sucked.” Errol chuckled. “Watch your language, lass. Eight of your arrows hit the target, and most of those were near the center.” “I was hoping all ten of them would hit the center.” “Don’t be so hard on yourself. Father is proud at how quickly you’re learning to use that stick.” “Longbow,” Skye corrected with a scowl. But the mention of their father brought a question to her mind. She pointed to the pistol at Errol’s side. “Why did he give you that? He’s never asked us to bring weapons before. We always did that for fun.” Errol’s grin faded, and he gave a shrug. “Honestly, I don’t know. He just gave it to me and told me to be careful.” “‘Be careful’?” Skye echoed, sounding offended. “We’re always careful!” “Aye, but if a hungry bear came by, who is going to protect you? You’re breathless after a wee walk!” “Am not! I just hiked ten miles! I can go just as far as you!” “Six miles. And calm down! I’m just trying to take care of my little sister.” At his emphasis of the word “little”, Skye grabbed her bow and moved to whack him in the arm. Almost as if he expected it, he stepped to the side and took hold of it. Skye pulled it out of his grasp and gave a few more attempts to deal a blow, but each time he dodged it or made a counterattack. Before either of them knew it, they fell into another one of their duals. Errol had always won, yet she had improved much since their last performance, and she was quickly gaining the upper hand. However, she had reverted to an old habit of directing her attacks to the legs, allowing her opponent to take advantage of his strength. He once again snatched the limb of her bow and began to swing it aside. The unexpected move made her lose her balance, and she found herself tumbling behind him. She hit the ground, rolled a few feet, then suddenly felt as though she was falling. It happened so fast she didn’t fully understand where she was until she landed on something hard with a grunt. She sat up and opened her eyes to complete darkness.

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  • [b][u]Part Two[/u][/b] Skye could see absolutely nothing. The air was cold and damp, and she felt a light sting on her knee. She had no time to call for her brother, as a bright light from above cut through the shadows. She looked up, raising a hand to shield her face, and saw Errol shining a flashlight at her. His eyes were wide with shock. He called out to her as he slid down a steep five-foot descent in the rock of what appeared to be the entrance of some sort of cave. “Skye! Are you all right? I’m so sorry!” “I-I’m fine. What happened?” He knelt beside her, checking over her for any injuries. “You… you broke through the vines on the mountain. I guess they had grown over the door of this cave. Are you sure you’re all right? Can you walk?” “I said I’m fine, Errol. Don’t panic.” “I’m not panicking,” he said, his tone rising. “Father told me to protect you, so… that’s what I’m doing!” Skye was too surprised by his short and sudden burst and sat patiently. The only wound she gained was a scrape from a rock that had cut through the right knee of her jeans. It wasn’t deep, and she had had far worse before. Regardless, Errol made sure it was cleaned and wrapped neatly in a bandage he had in his knapsack. Once he helped her back to her feet, she pulled out her own flashlight and pointed it further into the cave. It was a long, dark hallway with no end. At least, not one visible. “It goes far into the mountain. What do you think is down there?” She asked quietly like she was afraid to disturb something within. “There’s only one way to find out,” Errol replied. “Are you up to taking a look around?” Skye looked again into the tunnel. The blackness coupled with the silence gave the cave an eerie air that would make any young girl want to run. She nodded anyway. She wasn’t ten years old anymore. She could handle the dark, though she didn’t stray too far from Errol’s side. He didn’t seem to be worried at all about what they would find. Skye wondered if he truly was unafraid, or if he was trying to play the brave big brother. They walked wordlessly, examining their surroundings in hopes of finding something interesting. But the tunnel itself was a peculiar thing. The path was wide and the walls remarkably smooth. Even the arch in the ceiling held a nearly perfect curve above them, contrary to the outside appearance of the mountain. It looked so unnatural it was almost as though someone had carved through the stone. The tunnel was long, and it wasn’t until they were about to turn back when they came to a large room. At first glance it was like any other cavern, but then a strange object caught their attention from the side and set them off guard. “Is that… a table?” Skye asked as they approached it. The table was connected to the wall of the room. Bits and pieces of metal and wire were scattered over its surface along with a thick book layered with dust. They soon discovered that there were dozens of these tables in a similar state lined up in a row. “Fascinating,” Errol whispered. “It almost looks like father’s workshop, only… in a cave.” Skye reached out to brush some of the dust off the book’s cover to reveal its title, which read: “The Theory and Possibilities of Invisibility by Means of Light Reflection”. She didn’t fully understand what half of the words meant in that sentence, though she still couldn’t contain her curiosity and flipped through the pages. She was amazed to see complicated graphs, detailed diagrams, long descriptive paragraphs and scientific words. In fact, she was so concentrated on the book that she didn’t realize that Errol had wandered off somewhere. A low hum could be heard from above. It gradually became so loud that it echoed throughout the cave like the growl of a ferocious creature. Skye screamed in terror and rain straight for the gleam of Errol’s flashlight, grasping at his arm once she reached him. Then bright lights flickered to life from the ceiling to illuminate the entire area, and the humming immediately ceased. Skye paused in surprise and turned toward Errol, who had his hand on a switch on the wall with an amused grin on his face. “Sorry,” he said, “that was an enlightening moment, wasn’t it?” “Andrew’s cross, Errol! You’re so mean!” He laughed and recoiled as she punched him in the shoulder. “Hey, how was I supposed to know that it would be so loud? I didn’t mean to scare you.” After turning off their flashlights, the two took in their surroundings. They didn’t expect to find what it was they had found. It was a laboratory of sorts, abandoned and undisturbed for years, though by whom it would have been impossible to tell for certain. Smaller tunnels connected to the room and led to other chambers. Each one appeared to have a different purpose, though the laboratory as a whole seemed to specialize in technology. There were storerooms of tools and parts, shelves of books, computer terminals, equipment and pieces of machinery that had fallen into disrepair, desks filled with logs and notes, and shops used for building and experimenting. According some of the notes, many of the experiments conducted were in attempt to improve things as “simple” as energy weapons or even inventing something as difficult as a machine that could be controlled by the wave of one’s hand. The siblings and their father only had a very small amount of basic technology. Compared to home, this cave was a whole other world. They had come to explore the mountain and everything that was in its shadow outside, but what marvels and possibilities were hidden within the shadows within? It was only the beginning. Skye and Errol returned to the mountain as much as they could between their training with Lyle and their other responsibilities. They never told their father about the laboratory, and they soon started studying from the books and fiddling with the parts it stored. To their surprise, they picked up working with technology rather quickly. They had their own experiments, even going as far as making new weapons for themselves. Errol made an upgraded version of his pistol, increasing its accuracy and range by an astonishing amount along with a truly holographic sight that appeared when drawn from its holster. Skye had apparently never given up on her dreams for a pair of daggers that could transform into a longbow. She trained as hard as ever in her dual wielding and archery, and spent many frustrating hours trying to figure out how to give the daggers the ability to successfully connect at the pommels while allowing the blades to bend enough for an arrow to fly from the string. Errol oft told her it was an impossible feat, and yet she never gave up. Finding it was true that the metal would never bend in the way required, she settled using a large variety of smaller parts that would move freely enough for the curve, but then adjust when twisted at the grip to form sturdy and sharp daggers. It took her a couple of years of studying, prototypes and testing until she at last crafted a functioning piece of artwork. After some polishing, personalizing, and tweaking, it quickly became her most prized possession, and would be with her for many more adventures.

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    • [quote]No, it wasn’t so high it touched the clouds. It wasn’t clad in elegant cloaks of green, nor was it crowned by white snow. Like a weathered king declaring his dominance it sat solemnly on its ancient foundations that served as its throne, stretching as far as the eye could see to the west, and reaching the sea to the east. Its face was rough and worn by the harsh winds that came with winter. Even the sun hesitated to shine through the banners of grey that hung from the vaulted ceilings of the sky that was its palace.[/quote] [i]That[/i] is one good description! So that's how she accomplished the special bow, very cool. Though I have a feeling this discovery marked the beginning of the end.

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      • This is just getting closer to their confrontation is it, we’ll see more and more memories as they get closer and closer

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        • ... Bamp, one question though, what the hell is a bhobain?... [spoiler]not included in the DLC[/spoiler]

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