Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Blade's Worth - Part 1.

This is first part of a little story I'm currently tinkering with set in my Requiem universe. I thought I might share it, even though it is still really rough, so please bear with me and let me know what you think.

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The faint hum of an overhead light sphere ceased suddenly, it's lifecycle ended. With a sigh Darryn Nether blew a few stray strands of light brown hair away from brushing his nose. 'What am I doing here he thought' to himself as the shadows of this damp alleyway now found themselves lengthening around him. It had already seemed like hours he had been there, keeping an eye out, and only had witnessed a few whispered conversations from those brave and desperate folks willing to walk the streets this hour to pass by the alley. But without a Mini-Comm, much less a simple chronometer, Darryn had no way of even knowing how long he'd been waiting.

Waiting, it was one of the few things Darryn couldn't stand. And yet here he was, standing in the dark now keeping an eye out while his friends - if you wanted to call them that, snatched up a few cases from a delivery. Normally Darryn would of said no, right off the bat. But seeing as the merchant in question had been cheating customers for years and nobody was going to get hurt, he figured he could take part. Besides, he was never going to be able to save up enough in time any other way it seemed.

Nervous and alone Darryn reached for the only thing of comfort he had, a simple treasure that was his only possession. Passed down to him by his grandfather it was an old steel blade, one that had been forged and reforged by a man's hand. No matter how many times he had been laughed at or told it was a piece of junk, Darryn still couldn't look on it's blue-grey steel with anything less than cherished wonder. It wasn't produced in a factory, made of some new composite metal, nor did it even have a laser honed edge.

Yet, as he drew it from it's makeshift sheath of scrap leather and canvas it's familiar oiled scent always brought back the words of his grandfather to mind. It was just like he was standing beside him, speaking the words for the first time. "Always remember this one simple truth above all others," he had began when he first placed the blade into Darryn's hand. "Mark the worth of the blade just as you would the man who wields it. For the value is not in mere cost, nor is it in it's use as a weapon, but instead as a tool. It is an extension of the hand that wields it, and as such a tool - if it is handled by someone with the patience and understanding to master it, it can accomplish much more. If it is cared for it will remain true, and never fail you. But, if abused, just like someone slighted it will fail you when needed."

Darryn had always marveled at how awkward the blade had seemed, it was different than anything else he had ever seen. It was 16 inches of 3/8th inch thick steel, the blade alone being 10 of those while 1 1/8th wide and ending in a angular tip. To him it was a priceless treasure, a actual piece of his family that he could hold and know those before him had touched as well. And like the childhood tales that fascinated him as a child it made him want to earn the honor of carrying it much like those heroes he dreamt of.

As he slid the naked steel back into place his grip hung on the handle. Strange sounds reached to snatch him from his thoughts, struggling to focus he wrestled to make sense of them. And then the realization hit home; hurried footsteps as they padded through the puddles littering the alley's pavestones.

Puzzled, Darryn Nether had only one question firmly on his mind; what was going on?