Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter [COMPLETE]

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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:48 pm

I'm not too bad, ta. Thanks for reading, old love. That 'heard' is, of course definitely wrong, and will be corrected. The nimbuses affair, however, might be OTT - but replacing it with 'muffled' seems worse as that implies the light/smoke being heard (and not herd).

I do intend, now to carry on with this... but I don't know when.
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter

Postby Squiggle » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:12 am

well, don't let me rush you.
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:51 pm

Obviously, I'm not.

Just completed going over this again to reaquaint myself. I've made a few edits, but only really changed one thing (after Mossy's comments): Ko has now yet to speak, and Baal now says what Ko did previously.

I am about the next part, and will request that this be moved out of the Archive when I post it. Ttfn.
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter

Postby Squiggle » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:50 pm

I took the liberty of moving this out of the archive lest I forget, and to encourage you to update it. I took will have to reacquaint myself with the story!
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:25 pm

Dun 'n update.
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter [ONGOING]

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:35 pm

Another bit added to round off the last bit added more betterer.
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter [ONGOING]

Postby Squiggle » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:48 pm

I will check it out old boy
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter [ONGOING]

Postby Kentigern » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:28 pm

Sorry to stumble across this so late, and without prior knowledge of your work. My simple thoughts, for what they are worth:

- Beautiful and horrific story telling, moving between the mundane and the macabre with ease. Two small jarring points for me:
: I'm struck as to how his uncle knows such intricate, intimate detail. Sure it will all be revealed, but the telling of the story from the bar jars, for me, with the nature of his uncle;
: For me (and this is from the shameful state of not being up to date with your previous work) the descriptions of the characters in the bar feel like they stand out too much. As I say, apologies if this is a standard part of your writing, just thought I would bounce back initial thoughts.

Overall, I really love it, intrigued as to where it will go next. One challenge, a la Game of Thrones, may be in balancing the stories of Nina and Kenze if they are to be of equal importance, but loving the twisted take on the Inquisition. The story feels very much like early BL/GW writing to me, darker and bleaker than what we sometimes have now, so looking forward to reading more.
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter [ONGOING]

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:15 pm

Thanks for your time and comment, Kentigern. There is a reason Korst knows so much, but it's a general one and nothing specific to him (it gets hinted at in the next update). I'm not sure what you mean by the characters at the bar standing out too much, but I had to put in some detail because I wanted to at least show them as human before they started to get slaughtered ;) .

As to story balance, you may find yourself a bit disappointed there: Kenze and Korst are, for the main part, really just the device through which the story is related. Nina is the main focus, followed by the Inquisitors & co.

Glad you enjoy it besides the above. There should be another update soon.
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter [ONGOING]

Postby Kentigern » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:43 am

Suspected we would find out more :) Kenze and Korst are good devices for the narration, I like it.

The description at the bar I was referring to was where you provided snapshots of the three Inquisitorial characters, just felt more script of a play rather than the story you were telling before/after. As I said, purely a snap reaction, and may well be in keeping with your normal writing style. I like the snapshots of the bar's punters, as you say it then makes the wonderfully gratuitous violence feel more personal ;)

Look forward to the update.
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter [ONGOING]

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:27 pm

The description at the bar I was referring to was where you provided snapshots of the three Inquisitorial characters, just felt more script of a play rather than the story you were telling before/after.
I know what you mean. Perhaps I was just being lazy rather than integrate their descriptions into the flow of things, but I employ the excuse that this tale is being told as well as read :D . Also, it makes the hyperlinks in their names more obvious ;) .
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter [ONGOING]

Postby Kentigern » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:15 am

:D All perfect reasons
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter [ONGOING]

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:24 pm

Better late than never: anudda update.
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter [ONGOING]

Postby Squiggle » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:40 pm

Good.

Part of the description when the torture devices arrive outside the door I found confusing and indistinct, and the juxtaposition from slaughtering the bar to being upstairs with Nina slightly jarring.

EDIT - This paragraph is the one I am referring to.

The main doors banged open before the panicked clientele, clattering against the inner walls of the bar’s heavily-postered vestibule - the open front of which was filled with so much torture and pain it was as if it was all there was in the rest of the universe.


Your prose definitely creates as many questions as it answers, so write on Mcduff!
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter [ONGOING]

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:30 pm

Thanks for reading, Young Sir. Regarding that paragraph, I claim metaphorical ambiguity. ;)

I should get back to this fairly soon (hopefully this year, at any rate). I want to get it done.
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter [ONGOING]

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:03 pm

I uppadadate. One or two more should see this -and quite probably me and writing 40k- done.
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter[updtd27/03

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:55 pm

Some minor adjustments to give Nina more reason for her coming actions. Next update immanent - and I'm pretty sure it will be the penultimate.
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter[updtd27/03

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:19 pm

CONTINUED...

From the clear night sky a sudden wind dropped upon the town with the force of something solid. Tiles were skimmed from roofs, windows cracked, trees stripped of leaves and branches. Those few still abroad were buffeted about, in a few instances even pressed down to their knees. Then, and as suddenly, there was stillness - the wind was gone.

So were the stars.

There was a mass suspended above. It could hardly be seen, so intensely black was it. Only the outline of a gravid, spiky ellipsoid, so huge it partly overhung the bay, was visible in the ambient glow of the town’s lighting.

But the mass could be felt, both physically and emotionally. An all-pervading low frequency hum became apparent, setting teeth on edge, prickling skin, instilling acute awareness of internal organs and genitalia. Worse, however, was the palpable aura of deepest dismay that seemed to pulse from the mass, throb from it, pummelling the minds of the townsfolk. Those yet awake were suddenly possessed of the sheer futility and even stupidity of continued existence; those asleep had their dreams invaded by incubi of the darkest doubts and anxieties, shocking them into wakefulness and the awareness that their dreams were true. Folk found themselves contemplating kitchen knives and stashed guns, electrical power supplies and certain bottles of pills in bedside cabinets.

The Black Freighter had come.

And then: thousands of screeching whispers; thousands of thuds! and thwaks! as harpoons spiked down, piercing buildings, roads, townsfolk – the spiky pseudopodia of an aggressive, gargantuan amoeba. The ship and the town were joined, intimately - if only briefly.

A pause. Sharp cracks of falling masonry; groans; weeping; the occasional isolated scream.

High-pitched squeals from the freighter as unseen drums sharply reversed, whipping the forest of harpoons back upwards. Structures previously only holed were torn to rubble and splinters. Bodies, some yet living, were jerked like limp marionettes into the overhanging black.

Another pause, then: thud! thwak! again. Pause. Squeeee! Tearing metal and stone. Tearing flesh and bone. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat until the town was dusty ruin.

And once again: thud! thwak! But this time the harpoons remained embedded - for now the pseudopodia were ready to inject their poison.

Irregularly illuminated by the hundreds of fires that dotted the devastation, slim silhouettes began to bubble down the cables like ebony mercury (some suspended below, others skimming above, still more seemingly spattering from cable to cable): sinister liquid drops that, gaining the ground, spread rapidly and silently through the razed town.

Where they passed close to the fires, the flames revealed them as slender figures, black, unnaturally tall, and helmeted with horrific masks frozen in silent ululation. It was impossible to be sure of their number. Were there dozens? Hundreds? Thousands? Their movements –seemingly choreographed, almost dance-like- were hypnotically graceful.

Their purpose was not.

They scoured the ruins, seeking out survivors. Like birds pulling worms from the ground they yanked the injured, and those who simply hid, from the wreckage; pinpointing them with perfect precision no matter how deeply they might be buried or how well they were concealed. Even when a survivor’s retrieval might risk the retriever in the mangled metalwork and precarious piles, still they were retrieved.

This went on until, without any obvious signal, the figures abandoned their search. Had they found everyone still alive? Or had they simply found enough? They began to herd the moaning, coughing, gibbering, screaming, silent, townsfolk; roughly dragging those unable to walk -sometimes even carrying them- with an ease that belied their slenderness. And, though the tall figures showed no weapons, their authority was never tested: the townsfolk remained meek, docile, bovine, any fight that might be in them turned into hopelessness by the emanations of the Black Freighter (some did attempt to question their captors, asking ‘why’ and ‘what’, but they were ignored).

Through the choking smoke and dust they were forced onward to be corralled before the only building in the whole of the town that yet remained standing. Its walls were blackened, a few panes of glass were shattered, but otherwise it had been completely spared the destruction surrounding it.

Mally’s Bar appeared unnaturally large in its new loneliness.

In spite of their despair and pain and terror, the surviving townsfolk whispered together, eyeing the scruffy building, frowning at it. ‘Why,’ they asked one-another, ‘Why did they spare that one?’ Why was Mally’s Bar still so rudely erect when everything else around it was so terribly flat? It was an affront after so much destruction; fundamentally wrong that a meaningless bar, for the Good Emperor’s sake, was still extant. It should spontaneously collapse in simple shame. Their whispers became disgruntled words, then, suddenly uncaring of their captors’ petrified screams, shouted anger. ‘Why did you spare that one?’

And, as if in answer, a soft creak sounded from Mally’s Bar’s dark vestibule, and Nina stepped out upon the veranda.

Oh, but this was not the Nina of before. This was not the Nina whose bent back so many of the townsfolk had smirked over as she cleaned the tables and floors of their spilled ale and vomited bile; not the Nina who was the object of their nasty gossip and nastier comment; not the Nina many of them had absently pushed aside, sometimes hit, kicked, attempted to choke. No, this was someone who looked like that Nina, who wore the same floor-length dress, the same black ribbon in her black hair. But... wasn’t she now much taller? Wasn’t that pride now lifting her features? In her very stance? This Nina was no scullion. This Nina was regal.

This Nina was in command.

She looked over the gathered survivors, her face brimming with such disdain that those few among them who yet remained steadfast at last gave over to utter despair, knowing that whatever power Nina had here –for it was plain she had some, otherwise why was she not among them?- would not be employed to their benefit.

A voice, cool, not loud, but quite clear, asked, ‘Mother-of-Us-All, do we kill them now, or later?’ One of the black figures had spoken, or all of them had.

Nina continued surveying the crowd as she replied, ‘Where are they? Ko and the others? The Inquisitors. I do not see them.’

‘Mother-of-Us-All, these are but minor Mon-keigh; we found none of their Inquisitors.’

‘He has escaped?’

‘Mother-of-Us-All, as we dropped down this world’s gravity well, another ship –small, very fast- rose up it. We thought to engage, but vectors could not be matched. If contained the Inquisitors, then, yes: they have escaped.’

Contradictory emotions were sharply visible as they fought for command of Nina’s usually placid mien. Anger (at a missed opportunity?); fear (that the opportunity may yet be realised some time hence?); relief (that the opportunity was not to be realised at this present time?). But it was anger that finally furrowed her features.

‘Kill them now. Erect gibbits and scaffolds. Fetch chains and run them through every orifice. Pierce eye sockets and ears, puncture nostrils and mouths, loop perineums. Kill them now.’

The black figures carried out their orders rapidly, and with obvious skill. Still, dawn was beginning to peep –as if in trepidation- around the outer edges of the overhanging freighter by the time they were finished. A long winding wall of neat metalwork now bisected the town’s ashes and dust. Modular and obviously designed for the task, it was a macabre gardener’s trellis, heavily fruited and overgrown with jerking and dying people - each pierced and ran through as Nina had directed. The sharp tinkling and ringing of chains was an inconstant backing to their mindless screams.

Nina walked along the wall, looking up. Every now and again she would pause to hiss, ‘That’ll learn ya.’

-oOo-


Kenze’s eyes flickered open. Uncle Korze was snoring loudly beside him, and the stench of fetid milk filled the little geodesic tent. But it wasn’t the smell that awoke him (Emperor knew he was used to that), or the reverberating snores. It was oppressively warm and stuffy in the tent, almost a smothering weight - as if a huge summer storm was forming above them in the dark night. But it wasn’t that, either.

He heard chimes, tinkling and chinking discordantly; tuneless and continuous.

Kenze kicked out at his uncle, who merely grunted, smacked his lips, and continued to snore.

Were the chimes louder? They seemed to surround them now. Was the air heavier?

‘Uncle! For feck’s sake, wake up!’ He kicked again, much harder.

‘WHAT THE FECKING HELL, BOY!’ Korst was bolt upright, dimly silhouetted against the tent wall. Kenze saw a fist razed.

‘Uncle! Listen!’

The fist was slowly lowered. ‘What the feck is that?’

The chiming was louder. Whatever made the sound was all around them.

‘Is it somebody else’s herd, Uncle?’

‘Told you before, boy, there’s nobody else on this pasture. Stick your head out and take a look.’

‘Me? Why –’

‘No arguing! Do as I tell you! Quickly now.’

Muttering under his breath and trying not to tremble, Kenze crawled over to the tent’s entrance. For a moment he paused. The chimes still sounded the same. He tentatively broke the tent’s door seal, listened once more. No change, other than perhaps another slight increase in volume. He pushed his head gradually through the door, not realising his eyes were closed until he opened them.

‘Well, boy, what do you see?’ hissed Uncle Korze from behind.

‘Nothing.’

‘Nothing? What’s making that fecking din, then? The fecking stars?’

‘Perhaps, uncle. There’s a mist everywhere. A thick one. The ringing’s coming from that.’

‘Musical mist, boy? Have you been at the milk while I was sleeping? Get out so I can have a look.’

The two stood before the tent, gazing about. But there was indeed nothing to see but a slightly glowing mist rising from the damp grass within a couple of meters of them, becoming impenetrable within a further meter.

Abruptly, there was silence.

Until another sound, quite clear and unidirectional: a voice.

‘That’ll learn ya,’ it said.

-oOo-


Kenze and his uncle managed to claw their way off the bay, finding the cleft through which they had entered it more by chance than design. There they discovered the tail-end of their bovine herd, clattering away from them in spite of their hobbles, bellowing in terror. Herders and herd all clambered in clumsy panic through the almost pitch-dark cleft, the former kicking and thumping at the rumps of the latter to goad them into even greater exertion.

Behind them, from Black Freighter Bay, they thought to hear the resumption of the discordant chimes. They knew that the curse was still not lifted there. That the long-ago dead and dying of that nameless town still dangled, pierced and punctured, from mouth and nose, eyes and ears.

And Nina, smiling, yet walked amongst them.

It was to be the High Northwest for Kenze, Uncle Korze, and their charges after all.


END
Last edited by Chun the Unavoidable on Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter[updtd18/4/

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:22 pm

Just to annoy me, I've had to continue the story above due to the character count. One more update to complete matters.
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Re: Nina's Revenge: a Tale of the Black Freighter [COMPLETE]

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:42 pm

Three years plus to write 10,500 words. Jesus.

I'll do a reread, polish/scour whatever needs such attention, and note here whatever changes I might make if there are any worth noting. Other than that (and -though they say never say never- as far as writing 40k is concerned): stick a fork in me, I'm done.
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