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  1. #31
    Member QDOS's Avatar
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    Hi Nevermore,
    I know this is just a draft, but just to keep you on your toes, my observations and suggestions.
    Paragraph 7(andi n - and in), 11 (were -where) 12 (, "Of . “Of) 23 (from a passing ghosts, - ghost or from passing ghosts ) 24 (, by Isaac – but Isaac) 26 (the fund the Library – they fund)



    All of us, save Emet, leaned out the window. A huge, neon decked building with lights flashing every color of the rainbow peeked out the window about a block down the street. Of course.
    (peeked out the window - replace with maybe - lay) (Of course. Delete doesn’t add anything.)


    Dialogue confusion:- Three different identities Emet, Mr Grimm and Skylar
    "Why . . . did you pull us . . . aside?" Emet asked softly. NP?"I . . . doubt it was to tell us your . . . entire background." NP? Well, glad to see the Presence has some wit in him. But Mr. Grimm simply smiled thinly, "Oh, I never tell anyone my background. It would likely drive them insane." NP I had a feeling he wasn't exaggerating.


    Rising with a start, the two, locked in conversation, moved for a shadowy backroom, eventually vanishing behind a bright red door. (for – suggest towards)

    QDOS

  2. #32
    Member Nevermore's Avatar
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    Cool, I'll make sure to look at that. However, its doubtful I'll actually edit this until I've reached the confrontation with the hidden antagonist in the Chamber of Riddles. Until I finish the first draft, I'm not looking back much.

    In the meantime, chapter 11

    Chapter 11: Confrontation

    The round bellied ghost gave a cautious glance around the room, though I managed to duck behind Isaac so he wouldn't see me.

    "He's gone through the door." Isaac muttered. I passed straight through him, causing Isaac to give a violent shudder, then marched towards the door. We ducked through the cacophony of people, Valentine in the lead, Emet and I closely on his heels, with Isaac bringing up the rear, still shivering uncomfortably (to my delight) at the feeling of having a ghost walk straight through you.

    As we neared the door, Isaac held a hand out to stop me from barging in and blasting everything within reach with Thundershocks. "Wait. Maybe we should check before we just throw ourselves in?"

    Valentine stepped forward lazily, "Allow me." He waved his golden staff across the door, and a spinning circle appeared in front of it. It was like the area of the door seen through the circle of golden light simply wasn't there. I peered through the magic peephole to see, not a block of unyielding wood, but the inside of a dark room, lit only by a sallow-looking lamp. The woman was gesticulating nervously at the man, whose eyes were narrowed. The ghost hovered ominously behind them, purple fire cringing around his fingers.

    "Everyone is pretty focused on each other." Valentine whispered. "We should be able to slip in, at least confront them without walking into an ambush."

    I took a cautious step forward, letting my hand hover in front of the door. Isaac gave me a quick nudge, and I Caused the door to swing open silently. We slipped in, Isaac raising his hands cautiously, the Materialization command just waiting to roll off his tongue. The nervous girl, fat ghost, and man I guessed was Coulter were all staring at each other, locked in serious conversation. Coulter was seated pleasantly at a desk, sprawled backward with an annoying arrogant posture. The woman was saying with surprising firmness. “You know you won’t get away? The Vox are closing in on you right now.”

    The ghost chuckled presumptuously. “Give up Coulter.”

    I frowned, slowly moving forward, Valentine and Isaac right next to me. This is wrong. Those idiots are acting like they’ve already won. Grimm said that Coulter was always accompanied by some strange shadow, but I didn't see it. Regardless, these people were being novices, and we needed to step in case Coulter was as strong as I thought he was. The woman brushed at her hair in a twitchy manner, as Coulter said with a theatrical sigh. “Oh well. I suppose you got me pretty good. I guess I have no choice but to submit.”

    Instead of getting annoyed at him or (as I probably would have done) nailed him with a Scouring for his sarcasm, the woman laughed nervously. "That is good to hear. " The idiot was actually taking him seriously! The ghost appeared to be made of sterner stuff, as he leaned in unpleasantly and hissed, "Don't try anything. Even if you get past us, there is an Orchard Syndicate Agent barely a block from here, ready to stomp you out."

    Valentine gave a light groan of frustration, whispering so low I barely heard him, "He just gave away Grimm! Now Coulter knows about him!"

    Though Coulter looked relaxed, I noticed his hand begin to slip beneath the desk, pulling a silver pendant from beneath a hidden slot. Suddenly, I flashed back to four years ago, to an Artifact Studies lecture I had to go to. I remembered the one other time I'd seen such a thing, on a projector in the Libraries West Wing. The one other time I'd witnessed such an evil device. Yelling out in anger, forgetting the mission Nic had assigned us, I raised a hand and screamed out, "Zocayat!"

    The Scouring blew forward, a whiplash of bent air and a menacing fiery outline. Just as Coulter drew the silver pendant, he noticed my incoming spell. He dropped the pendant in surprise and a gray shade of flickering shadows drew up in front of him. Coulter, the shade, the fat ghost, and the nervous woman all leaped out of the way, as my spell struck the table, sending streaking scorch marks across the surface. There was a moment of heavy silence, then the table exploded into black slivers of scorched wood. I turned at Coulter, blind with rage. Flicking my hand five times in rapid succession and a row of Junctions were sent at him like a volley of arrows. Faster than I would have thought possible, Coulter made a hex sign with his hands and shouted out, "Vipadyate! Anulepa!"

    The Presence behind him writhed, as the Unction it cast reverberated in the air and my spells were turned into a rubbery, petroleum like oil, splattering across the ground. Swearing, I raised my hand for another spell, hopefully something potent enough to not be deflected by an Unction again, when Isaac said weakly, "Skylar, we're not supposed to kill him yet. What's wrong with you?"

    Valentine caught sight of the silver pendant as well, and swore in surprise. The dark token bubbled with malevolence, just looking at it made me want to wretch. Heath Coulter smiled lazily. "Oh, you recognize this?" The shade raised its hand and Caused the pendant to fly into Coulters hand. Isaac looked blank, but the woman and the robed ghost looked extremely pale. Breathing heavily, I raised my hands again, prepared to Scour him off the face of the earth, when Valentine held a hand out in front of me gently. "We need the information. Trust me, I want to kill him just as much as you do, but we need the information he has."

    Coulter moved forward swinging the pendant around his finger. It's not common knowledge, thank God, but the device is . . . is . . . it's horrible beyond words. I doubt you'd know about it, but the pendant is an artifact called a Regency Nail. Regency Nails are hexed containers, completely unremarkable on their own. But when a Regency Nail is charged, it acts as an enormously powerful catalyst. To charge it you need . . . you need human beings. Lots of them. There was apparently a spell that converts human beings into a silver, liquid-like substance dubbed the Regency Panacea. If you have enough of the Panacea, the silver stew of what used to be humans is then compressed and placed into a Regency Nail to give it power. The last charged Regency Nail that was known to have been used was in 370 BC by an unknown King of Atlantis. He turned the entire population of his island into a Regency Panacea, before placing it within a Nail. However, the hexes placed on the Nail were too weak to contain the power he placed in it, and the entire island of Atlantis was engulfed in force, sucked below the sea by the pressure of power the Regency Nail created.

    Raising my hands weakly, I backed up slowly, bristling in fury. I wanted Coulter dead, no matter what Nic said or who might die if we didn't do what he wanted. But . . . we had a job to do, and I'll be damned if Skylar Parish screwed up such an important job. Unless the job was paperwork. I always hated paperwork.

    Valentine whispered to us. "Do you think we can take him? The Regency Nail may not be charged enough for him to take down the four of us fighting with those two over there." He gestured at the ghost and the thin woman.

    I crossed my fingers, brain churning. How could we get around the Nail? "I could use an Unction." I suggested. "Weaken the Sealing hexes, but then re-Seal it. It would be stable in resting state, but unstable if used."

    Isaac frowned, Valentine having just whispered to him what the Nail was. "If you misjudge how strong the hexes are, you could kill us all!"

    I looked impatiently at him, and Isaac turned pink, saying awkwardly. "Just because you can't die doesn't mean we want to join you."

    I winked at Isaac, causing him to turn an interesting shade of red. "Good thing I'm a good judge then."

    I laced my fingers together, as Coulter laughed. "What? Another Junction? Please. Even without the Regency Nail, I could deflect it without a sweat."

    Trying not to let his ass-headedness get to me, I muttered "Anulepa" under my breath. Purple runes glowed at the Nails edges, as I narrowed my eyes in concentration. I had to time this just right, otherwise we could kiss all our collective assess good bye. Even if I was already dead, the force of the raw Regency Panacea could easily forcibly Banish me. The runes began to glow dangerously, and Coulter said, his voice noticeably higher. "What are you doing you stupid girl?"

    The ghost in black and gold robes swept near me, all in a huff. "What on earth are you doing?! Do you realize what could happen?"

    Valentine swept his staff across the ghost, and the fat man stumbled backwards, winded. "Let the girl concentrate."

    Letting my fingers loosen, I prepared to re-hex the Nail, make it stable in its resting state. I let a second layer of red runes appear with a muttered, "Trayate."

    Coulter held the nail away from him, too afraid to drop it, now panicking. "Are you insane?"

    "Probably." Isaac commented. I resolved hex him as soon as we weren't in danger of oblivion.

    I felt the huge power nudging at me, unseen, but there. Emet stiffened, suddenly saying. "Feel it . . . I can feel it . . . Evil device evil . . . evil." He rambled off as the room creaked and groaned. Dark eyes seemed to peer with insanity from the within the Nail. Then, with a flourish, I yelled, "Nibidayati!"

    The Regency Nail glowed bright, poisonous yellow, then fell still, vibrating slightly. Coulter dropped it in shock, wide eyed. He looked curiously sallow now, almost . . . older. Then it hit me. "He's been using the Nail to extend his Death Limiter!" I said. Valentine blinked thoughtfully. "Hmm. Very ingenious, if disgustingly perverse."

    Isaac appeared to have been hiding his face behind his hands in horror, and said in a trembling voice. "I had total confidence in you."

    I punched him playfully in the shoulder, my ghostly fist passing through him and causing him to shudder. "All in a day's work."

    Suddenly, something clamped around me like a vice, rippling across my body. I fell to the ground with a heavy thunk. Thunk? I didn't feel it, so I hadn't suddenly come back to life, but then, what was that? Stony, transparent crystal was crawling up my body, and faint bands of force were constricted my form.

    A Petrification.

    I let out a gurgled gasp of pain as I saw Coulter advancing on us, a bulb of force gurgling in his hand.

    "You'll pay for that." He hissed, looking extremely exhausted. An explosion of force sounded around him and debris was thrown everywhere. Isaac had materialized Emet, and with a look of vast anger on his face, sent a Compass Juncture straight at Coulter. The shade of coiling darkness had deflected it, however, and swept forward. It began to rain down a blanket of Concussers at Isaac, and he and Emet were forced to busy themselves deflecting them. I gasped in agony and tried to mumble out a countercurse, but the stony Petrification grew over my mouth. The, I saw a word form on Heath Coulters lips, word that could easily mean the end of the road for me. He spoke with anger dripping from every phonetic, "Azrut-"

    A crash of crimson. Hot liquid passing through my ghostly form as the Petrification vanished. I blinked, slowly floating up off the ground.

    Valentine was there, a mask of cold fury on his face. Gone was the mischievous twinkle in his eyes, only unbridled hatred. His golden staff had split straight through Coulters body, the coiled, pointed end of the staff protruding from Coulters chest. I looked down to see blood below my transparent body, the hot liquid that had passed through me moments before. Valentine tugged his golden staff out of the man's gut, letting Coulters body fall to the ground.

    We were all frozen, even the mysterious shade that had been fighting Isaac and Emet. Then, with a shakily spoken, "Sampidayati" The nervous looking woman raised her hands, holding out a brass urn the size of my fist. With a sound like a plunger being unstuck, the shade was sucked into the urn, and with a muttered hex, Sealed within. The robed ghost looked perfectly calm, however, looking at Coulters body with a neutral imperiousness.

    Valentine appeared unfazed, and wiped the blood from the staff off on the ground. "Well, that was close."

    "T-Thank you." I stuttered.

    The robed ghost swept forward, black and gold gown moving majestically as he observed the body. "It's probably for the best. That Coulter fellow just attempted an Banishment Command. Even if your friend hadn't killed him, we would have had to execute him anyways."

    The woman stepped a bit close to us and I saw her clearly for the first time. A short woman, maybe 27, with mousy hair tied back in a neat pony tail. She wore round, circular glasses, and had a very thin, pale face. Isaac and Emet both drifted over, as Isaac muttered a Dematerialization under his breath.

    The woman spoke, very prim and proper sounding though with a heavy weight of gratefulness in her voice. "Thank you for your assistance in capturing the fugitive Heath Coulter."
    I eyed Coulters corpse, noting dryly, "I don't suppose you'll have much trouble arresting him then."

    The woman gave a nervous laugh, as the ghost eyed me, amused. "Very clever miss. So, what are you doing here?"

    Valentine drummed his staff on the ground lazily, responding, "We could ask you the same question."

    The woman slipped slightly, before straightening herself and saying, "We're representatives from the Vox Nobilis. My name is Rachel Rissel, and we were sent to execute Coulter, under the, oh dear-" She had attempted to pull out a serious looking file, but dropped it and spilled its contents on the floor.

    The ghost eyed her scathingly, before admitting to us. "Don't get the wrong idea about young Ms. Rissel here. Clumsy and twittering she may be, but she's a perfectly capable magician."

    Straightening herself up once again, she stated, "Er, yes sir, thank you sir. AS I was saying, Coulters execution charged are under 'the use of the Banishment Command on a ghost, assaulting a Vox Nobilis Agent, and for his involvement in-"

    The ghost cut her off smoothly, though I saw a trace of panic in his eyes, "Yes, well, the possession of a Regency Nail fairly much cemented his death sentence."

    I glanced at a paper on the ground, and suddenly, the atmosphere turned ice cold. A corner of a file was poking out of a manila folder, with my picture on it. Isaac had noticed it as well. "Skylar, what . . .?"


    Slightly alarmed, Rachel Rissel quickly slipped the file into the folder, stating nervously. "I'm sorry Ms. Parish, but these are highly classified documents and-"

    I blotted out her incessant blithering, mind still fixed on the words I had seen.

    Skylar Parish
    Age: 16
    Gender: Female
    Number: #00789
    Operation Downfall: Once Subject 00789 has been terminated successfully, the operation can pr-

    Valentine looked extremely alarmed as well, but I thought I caught a trace of . . . panic in his eyes? But the next moment, he looked as cool and composed as always, and I chalked it up to my imagination.

    Isaac cleared his throat, a trace of anger sneaking into his voice as he said, "May inquire what exactly Operation Downfall is?"

    Rissel was now thoroughly rattled, eyes wide as dinner plates, while even the fat ghost seemed perturbed. The ghost stated, "Classified operation. I'm afraid I can't give the details, but rest assured, it is done for only the greater good."

    There was an awkward pause, as I glared at the girl, trying to see what was going on in her head. Suddenly, Valentine spoke up, his voice blank and devoid of emotion. "Rachel, how did you know Skylars last name? We never introduced ourselves."

    Rissel caught her breath and the ghost winced. No one breathed. The room was frozen with an electrified silence, and not a single person moved even the slightest muscle.

    Suddenly, Rissel burst out, eyes round as dinner plates as I took a step back in shock. She said hysterically, "Please! I didn't want to do it! It was orders from the top! I couldn't disobey, You can't say no to the Resurr-"

    The ghost cut her off angrily. "That's enough! You're-"

    But Rissel continued, looking on the verge of fainting. "I'm begging you Skylar! I didn't want to kill you! It wasn't my fault! It was orders! I was only following orders! They told me to, the Cabinet! they already have the Engine near completion, what was there to gain by-"

    The ghost snapped his fingers and red ribbons inscribed with cryptic black runes rose from the ground, tangling themselves across Rachel Rissel's mouth as she fell to the ground, sobbing.

    Valentine and Isaac turned at me in surprise. Emet rumbled to me, his voice tinted with shock, "You mean to say . . . this woman is . . . ?"

    Isaac finished Emets sentence in a voice that sounded very far away. "She's the one that killed you."
    Scribbled the Raven in the dark, amongst the shallow gloom, "I am the one that goes bump in the night."
    "A Love/Hate/Really-Really-Hate relationship between a boy, a ghost, and the monstrosity that will stop at nothing to end them." Check out Hidden Content in the sci-fi/fantasy/horror sections!

  3. #33
    Member QDOS's Avatar
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    Hi Nevermore,

    Sorry for not posting any recent update, but I have been having problems with Internet Access. My landline has been disconnected for the last three and a bit weeks following a power outage (strong winds). More details will be found on my postings Devil Incarnate on the main fiction page.

    Ok down to this latest chapter. Still keeping my interest going, my main comment, even though this is still a draft watch out for those missed new paragraphs in dialogue when you change speakers.

    If you have the time, for my own interest over your chapter layouts, please can you provide some an update: Here’s my summary:

    Chapter 1: Into the Inferno
    Chapter 2: Sojourn
    Chapter 3: The First Day of School
    Chapter 4: Shades of the Past
    Chapter 5: Dreams and Nightmares
    Chapter 6: Flaws, Weaknesses and Valentines
    Chapter 7: Downfall
    Chapter 8: Sunrise
    Chapter 9: Dark Moon - Possibly chapter 10
    Chapter 8.5: The Cask - Possibly Chapter 9
    Chapter 11: Bright and Grim Encounters
    Chapter 11: Confrontation

    QDOS

  4. #34
    Member Nevermore's Avatar
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    It's not problem, I've been taking a short break from this as well. Again, I'd like ot thank you for reading this, but I'd also like to say, I have finished a complete rewrite of chapter 1. I plan on starting a new thread soon for the newly rewritten story eventually, so watch out for it. Also, I've completely outlined the entire series.

    The Life and Death of Skylar Parish

    First Arc: Antiquities
    Book 1:The Jericho Rose
    Book 2: Eyes to Beyond
    Book 3: A Trail of Mirrors

    Second Arc: Apocalyptica
    Book 4: The Burial Guild
    Book 5: The Starling Wars
    Book 6: Ark Ascendant

    Final Arc: Broken Recovery

    Book 7: Scars of Anax
    Book 8: The Bitterblossom Seed
    Book 9: ? ? ? (Plot is thought out, just not the name)
    Last edited by Nevermore; January 8th, 2012 at 09:06 PM.
    Scribbled the Raven in the dark, amongst the shallow gloom, "I am the one that goes bump in the night."
    "A Love/Hate/Really-Really-Hate relationship between a boy, a ghost, and the monstrosity that will stop at nothing to end them." Check out Hidden Content in the sci-fi/fantasy/horror sections!

  5. #35
    Member QDOS's Avatar
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    Hi Nevermore,

    Look forward to reviewing the rewrite.
    I’m working in similar mode on the beginning chapters to my Inception Trilogy.

    If you have time have a gander at my short - Devil Incarnate - on main fiction page.


    QDOS

  6. #36
    Nevermore, this blew my mind. It flows nicely, and i will have to go back through it when i have more time. Some wording is awkward, but this may actually be my fuzzy brain, so i won't try to pick one out right now.
    Last edited by Grape Juice Vampire; January 9th, 2012 at 11:42 PM.

  7. #37
    Member Nevermore's Avatar
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    Some wording is very awkward, it's mostly because I haven't posted the edited scripts. Thanks for the review, I'll work on posting the rewrite soon.
    Scribbled the Raven in the dark, amongst the shallow gloom, "I am the one that goes bump in the night."
    "A Love/Hate/Really-Really-Hate relationship between a boy, a ghost, and the monstrosity that will stop at nothing to end them." Check out Hidden Content in the sci-fi/fantasy/horror sections!

  8. #38
    HI Nevermore!

    Kind of late to the party, but I had time to read chapter 1 this morning, and glanced over the others to get a feel for the story in the main. Intriguing! Since others have already pointed out the typos, word usage, character development and other sundry small quibbles, I won't comment on that, except to say that I am sure the final edit will address those issues. As writers, I think first drafts ALWAYS contain those kind of problems due to the rush to get the stuff down while it's fresh! Well, that's the way it is for me...

    General comment: While I am not a huge fan of the pure fantasy genre, I do enjoy a good story, with good character development, plot twists, etc. and this story seems to have those elements. Good job!

    Best regards

    CB

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