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  #1  
Old January 27th, 2009, 01:59 PM
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Dirkmer's Tale

The sunlight slid through the slats of the shutters as it fell softly on the table. Dirkmer sat pondering his life; all fifty-seven years, seven months, eleven days, fourteen hours, and thirty-two minutes he had left. Well, thirty-two minutes and twenty-eight seconds, but he never thought about the seconds. There was knowing when you were going to die, and then there was pondering the minutiae.

Why Dirkmer’s family had been cursed with this particular gift he did not readily know. No one did. For some unexplained reason it only affected a few male members of his lineage. But, it had been passed down through his father’s father and most of the fathers before them. He would someday probably pass it on to his own son. That didn’t really help a lot.

Yes, there was something to knowing when you were going to die, Dirkmer thought. Mind you, you didn’t know how you were going to die or what was beyond the veil, but it did give you time to get your life in order. Unless, of course, the clock ran out when you were very young.

Dirkmer remembered back eleven years when he first knew he was going to die. It was just past his seventh birthday when the Revelation hit. Throughout the generations the Revelation came to different members of his family at different times in their lives. Two years ago it is believed that his cousin Mormack, who was two months older than Dirkmer, had his just a few seconds before he was crushed by a falling boulder. His final words were reported to be, “Oh, well that sucks.”

The Revelation has had a wide variety of affects on the members of his family. Knowing when you were going to die can have some advantages. His family tree was replete with the leaves of great warriors, strong leaders, and even quite a few notable thieves and rogues. Yes, knowing when you were going to die gave you the opportunity to take chances that others might not allow themselves. But, in the end, each leaf must fall in the autumn of its own season. Of course, there was a downside to this knowledge as well, invariably it would drive some, well, insane. People say that a little knowledge is a good thing, but a lot is disastrous. That may or may not be true, but it often relies upon the individual. Given the good, and the bad, that surrounded his family, Dirkmer realized that most simply lived their lives for the best.

Many in his family had tried to circumvent the hand of fate. They attempted to take control of their death, to wrest it away from the hands of the universe. They all invariably failed. Most, became great mystics and knowledgeable wizards as they sought out a way to bypass the grim reaper at the appointed hour. Others tried a different approach. His Uncle Thaddock had attempted suicide twenty-eight times before he died on the twenty-ninth try, right on time.

No, there was no escaping your fate. The only thing you could do is take the road that brought you to it.

So, Dirkmer pondered where he would go from here. Would he be a brave warrior, knowing that he could not die on the battlefield for another fifty-seven years? Would he be a learned scholar, trying to gather the knowledge of the universe within him? Or would he, like his own father, simply live his life in quiet rectitude and allow fate to play its part.

"Out of all the ridiculous religion stories...the silliest one I've ever heard is, 'Yeah, there's this big, giant universe...and we're all just here, just 'cuz. Just 'cuz." - Trey Parker

Last edited by Buddy Lee; February 1st, 2009 at 12:46 PM.
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  #2  
Old January 27th, 2009, 08:25 PM
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Re: Dirkmer's Tale

I'd say this story has promise! Keep it up!
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  #3  
Old January 29th, 2009, 07:18 PM
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Re: Dirkmer's Tale

Almost three years had passed since Dirkmer had entered The Academy. If all went well he would graduate in just one more. It had taken him some time to adjust to the changes of Academy life. Things were very different from his world back in the quiet town of Olmark. His fathers farm, while physically demanding and at times required thoughtful innovation, did not always encourage the development of young minds.

He had decided to attend The Academy to make his mark on the world. The Academy was renowned for its creation of not only great leaders, but strong minds as well. It had taken him some time to focus on a field of study. One of the marvelous things about The Academy was that it offered so many options to the attendees. It was more than just a military training ground, college, or society builder. It was a place that offered structure and groomed the future. Certainly there was much appeal to the young male in regards to the more martial aspects of the school. While many members of his family had graduated and became great military leaders, he chose to pursue more intellectual pursuits.

The study of Thermomatics had always fascinated him. The ability to take steam and apply it to do work through gears, wheels, belts, and springs was not only useful, but could be quite enriching as well. The thought of shaping metal and leather in ways that allowed others to accomplish more than they could alone was intriguing to him. The secret, he had discovered, was to make an engine that was strong enough to power the devices, yet was small and light enough to be of use.

Dirkmer had concentrated on this aspect of Thermomatics. He wanted to build machines that would allow those on farms like his fatherís be able to bring in the harvest quicker and easier. For Dirkmer it was simply a matter of finding the right combination of materials and application of mechanics to get it done. He already had ideas and plans for a steam engine that would revolutionize the field, now all he had to do was build it.

"Out of all the ridiculous religion stories...the silliest one I've ever heard is, 'Yeah, there's this big, giant universe...and we're all just here, just 'cuz. Just 'cuz." - Trey Parker
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  #4  
Old January 29th, 2009, 07:54 PM
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Re: Dirkmer's Tale

This story is quite good, Buddy Lee!


Your curiosity will be the death of you....
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  #5  
Old February 1st, 2009, 12:33 PM
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Re: Dirkmer's Tale

Dirkmer was almost finished the The Project, as he called it. He hoped to present his engine to his instructors next week as his Final Year Excercise. If all went well he would not only graduate, but have the backing of the Academy to present his Project to the Industry and Inventions Commission. This would not only greatly simplify production, but open up a multitude of doors into the future.

But, today was for relaxation. As he travelled down the central street of town he admired the architecture and machines that surrounded him. Masonry was the predominate building material, but iron was becoming more and more common. The large cobble stones under him gave the sensation of moving along a mountain riverbed. Infact the simularities did not end there. The central street did seem to be a stream of activity. Others were travelling, generally in the same direction, and reminded him of the fish he found in such streams. Occasionally they would be caught in the eddys of slowly moving Autocarriers as they puffed out clouds of steam and billowed smoke. The Autocarriers metal shells and rivited exteriors gave a modern texture to his environment.

In the air above the river of the street, like birds looking to dive for a meal, he saw several For-hire Foating Flyers. They were not nearly as fast as the Flappers, but were much more economical to buy and operate while providing the same advantages of arial transportaion. Flight had been a relatively recent invention, but had quickly changed the world. It allowed for much quicker transportation. But not all of its aspects had been so benign. It had also provided greater opportunities to inflict harm as well. Now, as he was learning in The Academy, it had added, quite literally, a new dimension on warfare. But, such thoughts should be saved for another time.

Leather and metal was everywhere. Many, especially the younger ones, wore some combination of both. It was becoming quite a fashion statement to have articulated clothing that moved with the supple flexture of leather. But other clothes were in abundance as well. Since the day was quite warm Dirkmer had decided to wear simple green and red colored clothes made of linen. It was much more comfortable than the heavy metal and leather others had chosen.

As he considered his surroundings, Dirkmer, was invariably drawn back to the one problem he had with The Project. Somehow he had to increase efficiency by ten to fifteen percent to optimize the fuel's combustion. He had tried changing the purity of the water, the size of the burners, and even the shape of the burning chamber, all to no avail. As he thought about the problem suddenly it hit him.

"Out of all the ridiculous religion stories...the silliest one I've ever heard is, 'Yeah, there's this big, giant universe...and we're all just here, just 'cuz. Just 'cuz." - Trey Parker

Last edited by Buddy Lee; February 1st, 2009 at 01:14 PM.
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  #6  
Old February 1st, 2009, 12:43 PM
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Re: Dirkmer's Tale

Good job on the story.

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  #7  
Old February 7th, 2009, 04:31 PM
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Re: Dirkmer's Tale

Now was the time. Dirkmer would only have one chance to prove that The Project could do all that he claimed it could do. If he failed in this excercise not only would he not be successful in getting his engine produced, but his future would forever be marred by failure.

The Project did work. He knew it did. Tonight, before his demonstration tomorrow, was his last chance to fix any lingering problems. He had tested it repeatedly, but never at full power. That would be the final word. If it took the stress and heat then it would be the most powerful and efficient engine ever made.

He was alone in the building. Dirkmer preferred it that way. No prying eyes to usurp his ideas, and no one to witness his failure. Also, there was always the chance that things might not go as planned. Dirkmer had done the math, doublechecked the calculations, and was confident in the outcome. But, he knew he was pushing the edge of design. He had to. If he didn't The Project would be little different from the myriad of engines that came before.

Everything was ready. The chamber was prepped with fuel. The gears were well greased. The water was set to flow. All he had to do was start the fire and turn the three control valves to their proper settings.

It had been ten minutes since Dirkmer brought the engine up to full capacity. Things seemed to be woking properly, and he did not see any problems. The Work Effort being produced was almost exactly as he had calculated. Things were going well.

Just as he was about to congradulate himself dirkmer saw it. It was the tiniest of cracks in the housing. The faintest of flaws. But, at these pressures it was huge.

Dirkmer had no time to react. He could not shut The Project down. He knew exactly what was going to happen. There was no other possible outcome. The Project would rupture and he would be engulfed with fire and steam. He could not imagine how he would live through such an event. But, he knew, that he would. The Revelation had never been wrong before in the long history of his family.

As The Project exploded and the ragged metal shards flew at him Dirkmer saw the cloud of steam billow from the engine. It surrounded a ball of flame that singed the air withing the room.

As Dirkmer's doom came to meet him he was surrounded by The Light.

"Out of all the ridiculous religion stories...the silliest one I've ever heard is, 'Yeah, there's this big, giant universe...and we're all just here, just 'cuz. Just 'cuz." - Trey Parker

Last edited by Buddy Lee; February 8th, 2009 at 12:01 AM.
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  #8  
Old February 17th, 2009, 01:01 AM
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Re: Dirkmer's Tale

As Dirkmer focused on his surroundings he felt the waves of nasea slowly subside. Eventually he righted himself and found he was standing on an extremely smooth stone surface that was covered in small dark flecks encased in a field of white. To either side of him were four pillars made of the same stone and topped with ornate carvings. Behind him were two massive dark wooden doors that presented an image of impenetrability. But, what held his attention was the raised dias at the far end of the hall. It was made out of purple stone and trimmed with gold. On it was an impressive throne that exuded magesty.

Seated on the throne was a regal figure with black wings and covered in flowing robes. On the right side of the throne stood a beautiful figure with silver-white wings tucked behind a calm and contemplative body. There was an air of serenity coming from the location that put Dirkmer at ease.

"Lord Einar welcomes you to Valhalla, Dirkmer," the standing figure stated while deftly indicating the seated Lord.

"I am the Empress Kiova, and I greet you on behalf of the Empirium, its citizens, and vassels," she said.

"Umm. Thank-you?" Dirkmer replied with some trepidation.

Lord Einar and the Empress exchanged glances that seemed to speak volumes between them.

"You are welcome. I hope that you are not feeling too ill after your trip." the Empress continued. "I am sure that you are a bit confused by the sudden change, and recent events."

"Yes. I am," Dirkmer replied. Then he hastily added, "Your ladyship."

The Empress seemed to accept this and continued, "Please, allow me to explain. Lord Einar, Ruler of the Empirium, Protector of the Inner Realms, and High Master of the Well-springs, requests your assistance. He is currently engaged with an enemy, and even some allies, for control of all the lands. To that end he has searched throughout time and space for those who can help. You have been chosen because you have knowledge and skills that are of interest to him."

"I do?" Dirkmer asked. "Uh, Lord and Lady."

"Yes. Lord Einar needs an armorer. Someone who can not only make armor to protect his warriors, but also to strengthen them on the field of battle."

"I understand. I think," Dirkmer said. "But, I don't know if I can meet the Lord's needs. I am still young. I haven't even passed from the halls of The Academy. I certainly do not mean to question Lord Einar's judgement, but I don't know if I am qualified."

"Lord Einar has the greatest faith in you," the Empress intoned. "He has faith in your ability to overcome, with his help, the challenges before you."

"I see. Now, and please excuse me for asking, and I mean no disrespect, but I just need to understand, what happens if I decline Lord Einar's kind offer, your Ladyship?" Dirkmer asked, as he quietly cringed inside. He did not know what the reply would be. He might be imprisoned, or tortured, just for asking. He usually spoke his mind before he thought, and bad habits were never helpful when meeting new, and powerful, leaders.

"Then," as the Empress's voice dropped, subtely and with an almost imperceptable hint of sad malice, "you will be returned home fifty-three years, four months, and five days after you left."

The reply hit Dirkmer with particular logic. He did not know if The Revelation worked that way, but had had no interest in finding out.

Dirkmer considered his options as he found himself advancing towards the throne. It seems instinct, and self-preservation, had taken control of his body.

He spoke the words that he knew he would before he even realized they had been said, "Lord Einar, Empress Kiova, I accept this great honor to have been chosen to aid the Empirium in its noble quest."

Then, Dirkmer extended his front tentacle toward his new master as a token of his allegiance.

"Out of all the ridiculous religion stories...the silliest one I've ever heard is, 'Yeah, there's this big, giant universe...and we're all just here, just 'cuz. Just 'cuz." - Trey Parker

Last edited by Buddy Lee; February 17th, 2009 at 01:22 AM.
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  #9  
Old February 22nd, 2009, 10:35 PM
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Re: Dirkmer's Tale

This is one cool story... I love fan art and fiction... Good job! You know, I was picturing Dirkmer as human until you said the "front tentacle" thing. Perhaps he will be like a martion from H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. Hhhmmmmm...

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  #10  
Old February 23rd, 2009, 12:23 AM
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Re: Dirkmer's Tale

Dirkmer surveyed himself in the mirror. He compared his rather normal appearance to the strange creatures he had seen on Valhalla. Most were bipods. Strange creatures with light colored skin and four limbs. He much prefered his own purple and green mottle with multiple appendages. His five base-pods allowed for a strong perch on virtually any surface. His three tentacles let him reach out in any direction without turning his central body stalk. It was a much more efficient assemblage. Although he had to admit the Valkyrie's wings did have clear advantages to remaining a purely land-bound creature.

It had been three weeks since he had sworn his allegience to Lord Einar. In that time he had discovered a great deal about the circumstances that surrounded him. While it seemed that the whole planet was in conflict Lord Einar strove to preserve a realm of calm normalcy within his borders. He cared deeply for his people, but there was no question as to who was the pre-eminant resident. The whole society seemed to center around serving Lord Einar, and to a lesser extent the Empress. It seemed to serve the Lord and Empress was to serve the society.

Virtually all of the beings in he had met came from a planet known as Earth. They had many simularities beyond their appearance. Even though they seemed to come from different times and lands on this planet they all seemed to come from a martial and disciplined society. In fact that aspect was very simular to his own homeland. It seemed Lord Einar deliberately chose beings who were inclined to fall into his very structured realm. As Dirkmer considered this it did only make sense. Why bring in an outsider who could not conform, especially if you could bring them from a well trained and capable militaristic culture. A culture that bred out questioning tendacies.

While this was an interesting anthropological study, Dirkmer thought, it did not really help him with the problem at hand. He had been charged by his liege to develop armor for his army. The armor part really wasn't that difficult. Metal and leather, both of which seemed in great abundance, were easily sculpted into a protective shell, even for the strangely shaped creatures around him. The difficult part was what Lord Einar also required. Armor that would enhance his soldiers strength and abilities. And, while Lord Einar was an understanding leader, it had been made clear to Dirkmer that he wasn't a particularly patient one.

"Out of all the ridiculous religion stories...the silliest one I've ever heard is, 'Yeah, there's this big, giant universe...and we're all just here, just 'cuz. Just 'cuz." - Trey Parker

Last edited by Buddy Lee; February 23rd, 2009 at 12:30 AM.
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  #11  
Old February 23rd, 2009, 12:05 PM
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Re: Dirkmer's Tale

Cool, he has to make armor. So will it be like the power armor from fallout?
Ohh, and you are quite creative with the creature you described dirkmer to be.

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  #12  
Old March 24th, 2009, 05:06 PM
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Re: Dirkmer's Tale

The battle seemed to be going well. All the pieces were in place. Lord Einar had arranged his players to take advantage of the enemies weaknesses. The Legionaires were holding a line on both flanks that prevented the Grok Riders from breaking through, but they could not hold out indefinately. Fortunately they didn't have to.

Once the Samurai had captured the prize, and a very dangerous prize at that, the Empirium forces would withdraw. Dirkmer had provided them with the enhanced armor he had been working on. It had taken him several months to work out enough problems to make it ready for the battlefield. He was confident it would hold up to the rigors of the fight, but to capture a Deathwalker was an entirely different problem. Sure, you could take one down if you could get through the armor, but to capture one in good enough condition so that he could study it, learn from it, and use that knowledge to improve his armor was much more difficult.

Lord Einar at first had balked at the idea. He did not see how the risk was worth the reward. As Dirkmer explained what he hoped to accomplish with the Soulborg technology he eventually was able to convince his Lord that the benifits more than made up for the potential downside.

The Samurai were the natural choice to bare the brunt of the fight. Strong, disciplined, relentless, and fast. They were used to wearing armor and its encumbrances. The fact that his armor also gave them better protection, and strength than they were used to didn't hurt either.

The plan was simple. The Legionares would protect the flanks while Kato Katsuro directed his forces toward the two towering behemoths atop the hill. The ninjas were already in the rear disrupting Utgar's forces there, in hopes to clear enough room for King Zelrig to land and weaken the army.

Suddenly, seemingly from out of nowhere, came a huge red creature swinging a massive sword. Upon his back rode a Marro with armor on his arms. As they hacked their way through the pickets of Ashigaru, Dirkmer knew what he had to do. He grabed his weapon. He was the only being between these two fierce forces and total disruption of Lord Einar's command group.

As he approached the frightening image before him the Marro Warlord lept to the ground. Dirkmer was ready for the attack. What he was not ready for was an overwhelming urge to strike down his own master.

"Out of all the ridiculous religion stories...the silliest one I've ever heard is, 'Yeah, there's this big, giant universe...and we're all just here, just 'cuz. Just 'cuz." - Trey Parker
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