Tag Archive: fiction


Dreydak

CHAPTER ONE

Journey to Grom Gol

Dreydak smashed his fist down hard on the dark wooden guardrail as the dock master unhooked the last metal chain link mooring from the Zeppelin. “Grom Gol Base Camp” he muttered through gritted teeth. Peering down at his fist, he slowly uncurled his thick fingers, flexing them a few times. He clenched the guardrail and looked out toward setting crimson sun and scanned the horizon as the Zeppelin slowly drifted forward and up into the reddish purple sky departing from Orgrimar. Thoughts raced through his mind. Why did it have to be Grom Gol? Hasn’t’ he suffered enough? Born a Frostwolf Orc. Taken from his home as a child. Raised from a young age to know nothing but how to be a warrior. Fighting and war. And demons. Those horrific, foul smelling abominations who invaded his home world. That is what he knew and nothing more. Dreydak never even had the chance to bond a wolf as his clan elders had when they were in the prime of their youth.

Dreydak’s face tightened and he looked down at the deck floor. He realized his prime had long since passed and felt robbed of the chance to grow up the way Orcs traditionally did.
Dreydak’s thoughts wandered to the past, to memories of Dreanor, his home world and to the Demon armies who conquered it. The Demons decimated and corrupted the Orcs with their tainted green blood potions turning the majority of the race into pawns to do their bidding. Some of the Orc clans lusted for power and were tricked by the Demons, leading them into a life of submission and subservience. That’s when his race’s fight for survival began. The war with the Demons lasted many years, ending with most clans fleeing the Orc home world. Dreydak lifted his hands, palms up staring at his wrinkled skin. Once Orc skin was light brown or tan. The Demon corruption had turned their skin green. Dreydak used to have green skin. Not now though. His hands looked like the color of charred blackened meat. Dreydak lifted his head, chip up and held his hands behind his back. The zeppelin soared high above the clouds now, the sun almost set. He felt the cool breeze of the dawn air whisk through his long gray hair. His thoughts drifted again.

Dreydak thought of how the Orcs first invaded Azeroth. Immediately upon arrival to this new world, long war between the Alliance and Horde began. Dreydak was seriously injured and almost died. It was a horrible time filled with more betrayal, lost hope and vengeance. Many Orcs including friends and comrades were lost forever in what ended up being a flight from their homeland rather than an invasion. Only the resurgence of the shamanistic ways of the Orcs, the reconnection to the elements was what enabled the rise of the Horde. This sparked a change in tide for his race and is what lead Dreydak to almost fully recover from from his injuries. He was never quite right since his near death experience.

The war with the Alliance had taken its toll on both sides. Too much blood had been shed and many lost everything that meant something to them. The effects of the demon corruption were not completely gone and it drove some Orcs to madness. Madness led to an unrelenting need for blood lust. Ogrim Doomhammer, the Orc Warchief at that time, was obsessed with only one thing. Conquer this new world. Azeroth would be for the Horde. This was what led to his race’s second downfall and ultimately the fall of the Horde. The aftermath of this defeat sent Dreydak’s entire race scrambling to hide from Alliance forces or else be captured or killed. Those that were captured were herded like animals and sentenced to confinement for life in the internment camps. Some fled and went into hiding. Many others were just simply slaughtered. Dreydak grunted. It was a miracle that they all survived through to this day. “Ha!” he barked. “Survived!” he spat the words out to no one in particular.

The Orc race was headed toward certain doom until the sudden rise of their current Warchief, Thrall. This very intelligent, green skinned Orc had completely turned the tide for the Orcs. Thrall escaped from a life of slavery, abuse and being raised as a thing. Thrall refused to be a puppet at the hands of human Alliance scum. He traveled the land, rescued and subsequently recruited all Orcs he could find, freeing the beaten down and docile race and rallied them together to reform the great Horde that they once were. Dreydak’s face relaxed and a grin began to split his face. The Orc warriors followed Thrall and raised him to Warchief! Dreydak eyes became watery as he remembered what it felt like to finally feel free of corruption from the demonic taint that ran through the blood of the original Horde. Thrall lead the Horde, but not into a new war. Instead he forged a tentative peace treaty with the Alliance. Dreydak was once again a warrior of the Horde. As fate would have it, peace did not last long.

It wasn’t the Alliance who broke the peace. It was the Scourge, the undead mindless ones, driven by the will of Arthas, the Lich King. Dreydak’s jaw tightened and his eyes narrowed. These thoughts greatly pained him. His life was one tragic event leading to another. And worse still, his death and subsequent undeath was the pinnacle of his grievous existence. His soul was stolen by the hands of the Lich King. He was slain and subsequently risen as a Death Knight to serve Arthas, and become a pawn in the undead Scourge army. Dreydak, the Orc Warrior was transformed into Dreydak, the Death Knight. Granted dark powers by Arthas and stripped of his own will, Dreydak was forced to spread death and disease across all of Azeroth. His actions, his life, his very essence was controlled by pure evil. He had no sense of self control or free will nor was he able to determine right from wrong. How honorable was that for an Orc? It was the largest insult and desecration of the honor code that an Orc could endure. Over time, the Horde and Allince were able to defeat Arthus and all evil ties to the Lich King were broken. Death Knights gained their own free will back but their mortality, or immortality that was unknown. Dreydak was already dead. How could the dead walk? How could the dead die? This was something he had yet to resolve. At least the Warchief gave his kind a second chance, much to the behest of the majority of the Horde. Thrall accepted the Death Knights back into horde and in fact granted them boon. He named them to positions of honor for the sacrifices they endured at the hands of Arthas.

The zeppelin jerked, bringing Dreydak back to the present as he stumbled for purchase on the wooden deck. He closed his eyes for a moment and cleared his mind. Dreydak forced his thoughts to current mission. Grom Gol base Camp. A small base in the middle of Stranglethorn Vale. A hot sultry climate with lots of wildlife, vegetation and many stench ridden goblins. Also home to some of the meanest trolls on Azeroth. Not that goblins or trolls really bothered Dreydak all that much though, it was mainly the sultry climate. He was a Frostwolf Orc. His blood preferred the colder environments over the hotter ones. He grimaced. Couldn’t his commander have dispatched him to Winterspring! Or maybe given him another tour in Northrend! But Stranglethorn? Even the harsh blizzards of Northrend were more appealing right now. He felt more at one with the elements in Northrend. Perhaps, just maybe, he could even find a frostwolf and try to bond with it. Something he never got to do, something he longed to do before his death. His brow furrowed. Is its possible to die again? I’m undead already. His eyes darted from side to side. Could an undead Orc even bond a wolf? It was still confusing for him. He shook his head and tried to clear his mind again.

Grom Gol Base Camp. Not Northrend, not Wintergrasp, just the sizzling hot Jungle. He had to accept the fact he was on his way to Stranglethorn. He decided to go below deck and found place to review his mission details. He removed the scroll from his leather script. He unrolled the and read the orders his commander sent with him. It seemed standard enough. Investigate the shortage of supplies flowing into the Horde camps in Southern parts of the Eastern Kingdoms, starting at Grom Gol Base Camp in Stranglethorn Vale. He read through the rest of his orders, but that was it. It seemed almost too trivial of an assignment for him to waste time with. Shouldn’t he have been dispatched with the force that went to investigate the sightings of that blasted dragon? Surely Thrall couldn’t be ignoring the numerous reports of Deathwing, the Aspect of Death appearing in the skies all over Kalimdor. This assignment was much to simplistic for a veteran of Northrend to be bothered with. Dreydak wondered why he was chosen for this. What was the significance? Was the acceptance back to the Horde a farce? Do the commanders believe him not trustworthy for a vital mission? Or was there some ulterior motive behind it? Dreydak lowered his head and ran his fingers through his hair. He finally decided he was thinking way too much about about everything. He stuffed the orders back in leather script and returned topside to try to relax and enjoy the rest of the ride over the Great Sea. He found an empty spot on a wooden bench covered with a comfortable feather sack. He sat down on th bench, leaned his head back and felt the cool wind on his face. In no time at all, his eyelids grew heavy.

Dreydak didn’t realize he dozed off until he was free falling over the middle of the ocean. He looked up and saw the remains of the Zeppelin engulfed in a ball of flame. He thought he saw birds. But they looked to big to be birds. And that flames! No, not flames. Was it…Yes! It was lava. Molten lava. This wasn’t some goblin fuel experiment gone wrong. The Zeppelin was attacked by dragons. And not just any dragons, but black dragons. Only black dragon innards burned hot enought to spew forth molten lava. Like the molten lava which was melting the Zeppelin above! As he fell, and tried to remain calm and not lose his senses. His mind raced. Was it Deathwing? Was it the black dragon flight? Why did they attack the Zeppelin? Panic started to set in. All he could think about was if the fall was going to somehow permanently kill him, if he was going to break apart when he slammed into the ocean below or…or what?  He had difficulty focusing his eyes and became so disoriented he no longer was sure which way was up. His thoughts, now cloudy, his head light as air, he knew he was about to black out. His instinct told him to take a breath…but that made no sense. He didn’t breathe any longer. His eyelids flickered open and he spotted the swirling ocean below which somehow turned from blue to the deepest black he’d ever seen. He was now barely conscious. Was this the end? Could it be the end? He began to recite the names of his elders, so sure he was about to die for good this time. It would be any second now, he would hit whatever that black swirling surface was and would die instantly from the impact. Just seconds before he hit, all went black.

….to be continued.

 *DISCLAIMER*

World of Warcraft and all references to people, places and things in the World of Warcraft universe are all owned by Blizzard/Activision. The story presented here is the fantasy life of one of my digital characters in Blizzard/Activision’s Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game world. I am not affiliated in any way with Blizzard/Activision nor claim any ownership to any of their intellectual property, all of their rights are reserved. This storyline is presented for the fun an enjoyment of World of Warcraft fans and is not in any way intended for profit or is it for sale. This work is intended simply for the public domain and is fan inspired enjoyment.

Links to Blizzard/Activision’s World of Warcraft website is here.

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I wrote this piece for a submission to an anthology that seems stuck in limbo, but I’d thought I’d finally share it. The idea was to write a short story in three parts, but have a different author write each part. The anthology would have 12 stories with 36 authors in all (each author doing a different section of each story).
The first part was a “Grim Future.” The second part was the “The Last 5 minutes of the World.” The third and final part was, “What next?” I submitted a Grim Future. Since it was to be a short story, each section was limited in word count and since I did the first part, it was a chance to do some quick world building. My piece is brief and it moves quickly, but that was sort of the point of the setup to the story. It’s a bit of Sci-Fi and a bit of apocalypse, two of my favorite things to read and write about. Enjoy

 

Grim Future – Sporelings

 

For thousands of years, mankind has been driven by insatiable curiosity to study the great pyramids of Egypt. What secrets hide inside these ancient wonders? Could they hold the key to mankind’s future, or perhaps missing links to the past? The quest continues…

#

 

Present day—El Giza, Egypt— The Great Pyramid

After eleven previous investigations over the past decade, Archaeologist Elliot Gray and his team once again entered the queen’s chamber of the Great Pyramid. This time they were equipped with the excavation robot, SARTI (Standard Archaeological Robotic Technology Inc.). A small remote-controlled robot, SARTI was able to scale narrow shafts and scan targets with infrared and ultrasonic waves.

“Alec,” Elliot said. “The target is above the queen’s chamber. That two-meter slab is where I need the bloody robot.”

Alec Cooper, the team’s chief engineer, tapped on the computer interface. “We’re ready, Elliot.”

SARTI began the ascent.

As the monitors came to life, the team eagerly watched the robot climb to the top of the shaft. A few minutes later, SARTI rotated and began a heat scan.

Twenty minutes passed and a frustrated Elliot glared at Alec. “Oh, for crying out loud, that godforsaken thing is bloody useless. There’s nothing but rock.”

“Hold on,” Alec said. “Give it another few minutes. Let SARTI run the full program.”

The screen went dark. A scan using low-frequency waves began, followed by one with ultrasonic waves.

Elliot watched the screen for a few minutes more, then scowled, impatient with the lack of progress. “Still nothing? How much did the bag of bolts cost us anyway?”

“Bloody hell, Elliot, give it a few minutes, would ya.”

The computer signaled a target, displaying the ultrasonic image of a dark oblong shape in the center. Alec pointed to the monitor. “Look, there, SARTI found something.”

“Brilliant!” Elliot couldn’t turn away from the screen. “Well, get a move on,” he said. “Go! Go! Tell that idiotic robot to bring it here!”

#

Several hours later

Once SARTI had brought the artifact to the queen’s chamber, Alec put on protective gloves and reached inside the specimen tray. Carefully, he picked up the object. “Outstanding,” he said. “It’s a golden scarab. You suppose it’s some type of jewelry?”

Puzzled, Elliot frowned and reached for the scarab. “Jewelry?” he said, “hidden between the queen and king’s chamber. I think not. Look here, there’s something more!” He pressed against the head.

It snapped open.

Elliot’s eyes widened with awe. Darkness rested in his palm, a void, as though he peered straight into a black hole from the deepest space.

“What is it?” Alec asked. “What do you see?”

Elliot didn’t answer. He couldn’t turn away from the darkness inside the scarab. What have we found? he thought, full of wonder. A dark, bottomless, pit … inside a golden scarab? “It can’t be,” whispered.

The scarab began to grow hot in his hand. “Damn!” He dropped it, the palm of his hand blistered.

“What the hell?” Alec said, slowly backing away. His gaze remained locked on the dusting of dark, odorless material rising from the scarab. “You think it could be a type of fungus maybe, or spores?”

“Yes,” Elliot whispered. “Sporlings” The name just came to mind, he couldn’t say why. As he watched, the dark mass pulled into a tight circle, then pulsed. Elliot jumped when the circle loosened and doubled in size above his head. Seconds later it repeated the process. It’s breathing, he thought. But getting bigger on every exhale. The first twinges of unease tickled at his mind.

The sporelings were multiplying at an alarming rate!

“Let’s get out of here!” Alec yelled. “Elliot, we don’t know what it is!” He turned to run from the room, not waiting to see if Elliot followed.

But Elliot hadn’t heard him, too mesmerized by the growing void of darkness above him … so much like the one he’d viewed inside the scarab. A black hole being birthed through a gateway in the ceiling.

Terror struck Elliot at the thought; it tore through his guts, a cramping, almost crippling pain. What if the shroud dropped down and sucked him through?

He didn’t wait around to find out.

Elliot ran.

#

In less than a week, Elliot’s sporelings had spread across the planet. It didn’t take long when every time they pulsed, the dark cloud doubled in size, releasing more of their progeny into the air. At the end of the tenth day, the swirling mass floated down and settled into the soil. It attached to all plant life and began to manipulate their basic structure on a cellular level. Fragile flora, green stems, leaves and flowers were transformed, turned black and indestructible. Botanist learned the shiny obsidian material affected every variety: cacti in the hottest desert, worldwide forests and jungles, and algae and seaweed in the deepest oceans.

Nothing was spared.

#

It took only ten days to send the world into chaos. As the plants continued their metamorphosis, they began to pulse, releasing more toxins into the environment. Desperate Scientists searched for ways to combat them, but were defeated at every turn. Volcanoes erupted, earthquakes rumbled, tornadoes and hurricanes wrecked havoc. The land waged war against man, destroying everything in its path.

Cities crumbled.

People died.

Then Botanist learned the new species of obsidian plants absorbed the sun’s energy at fifty times the level of their native species. The added warmth quickly raised surface temperatures. Polar caps melted, but the newly released water evaporated almost immediately—along with the water in every river, lake, and ocean. It soon created a canopy of water in the stratosphere causing a greenhouse effect below. The increased atmospheric pressure made the oxygen and carbon dioxide richer.

But would anyone be left to reap the potential rewards?

 

#

On the twelfth hour of the twelfth day after Elliot released the sporelings, the alien plants reached maturity. Almost as one, the shiny obsidian leaves turned upward toward the heavens and began a rhythmic pulse. The few people still left watched, worried it might be a signal of some kind, a beacon.

But a signal to whom?

Or what? 

“It is not an individual decision to cast the mark of evil upon another; it’s a collective decision and must be determined to be just. However, mistakes are tolerated. Once the mark of evil has been cast on another it cannot be undone. Repentance and reform are not real things, they are fabricated concepts, and thus the Death Bringers take no prisoners. Interrogation and torture is futile. Evil once caught, is ended.”

From the Code of the Death Bringers, Chapter 1, “End of Tyranny”

“And when your end comes, you will see your Death Bringer up close and in great detail, for he will not be veiled or disguised like a coward. You will feel his exhaling breath on your cheek. Your nostrils will sting with the stench of his sweat. You will see the soaked strands of his hair matted down on his head. And you will feel nothing but terror when you look into the burning fire in his eyes. In your final moment, you will witness the determination on his face and absolute resolve to bring your end. And then, you will be done. You and your soul will not rise again.”

 

From the Code of the Death Bringers, Chapter 1, “End of Tyranny”

I have taken too long of a hiatus from writing but I believe I have found my inspiration to get back to it. I am working on a plot sketch for Book 2 of Silver Icon – The working title is “Aftershock” – And it tells of Rick’s life post-layoff and how he deals with it and attempts to get back on his feet. This will take place roughly two weeks after his “down-sizing” and will cover the social, emotional and economics issues with recovering from a major life-event. I so am so excited to work on this project!

I am also picking up the Good Haunting manuscript again and dusting it off! I believe this is about 60% complete and I really want to finish this book. It was my first foray into the Supernatural & Romance genre and I want it to be a success. I’ve let my Critique Circle membership expires, but I got so much inspiration from the wonderful people there, that I feel I wouldn’t be able to complete this work unless I am active…so I am renewing my membership on CC!

Until next post— peace!
-Nick

 

P.S. A little Extra…

Photo Inspiration for Shane, Nikki and Nadia in Good Haunting (FYI – images available from 123rf.com)

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I’ve been ultra busy the past month and a half blogging, reading, writing, moderating forums and most recently, being a critique! I have also been under a lot of stress and pressure at the day job working on a high-profile project for the past 6 weeks, so I am not exactly sure how I fit everything it!

I’ve been spending a lot of time on goodreads lately and joined a few of the groups there. Something special has happened to me as a result of participating in two different groups.

The first thing that happened was I received an invitation from Christy Wilhelm to become a forums moderator on the BTS Book Club on goodreads! I was more than happy to accept and now I am helping to moderate the forums there as well as leading monthly book discussions. And I get to choose the books to discuss! It takes up a bit of time, but it is a lot of fun too! So if you’d like to participate, join the BTS Book Club on goodreads! BTS stands for Book and Trailer Showcase a  website dedicated to showcasing book and book trailers.

The second thing that happened was in the Writers Worth group on goodreads. Lyn Midnight started a collaborative anthology project, which has grown to a big multi-media project. Lyn calls it grim5next. The written anthology will be a book of short stories. Each short story will have three parts to it. Grim Future, The Last 5 Minutes and What happens next? Hence, grim5next. There will be 12 short stories and a different author will be responsible for one section in one of the stories. That means 12 stories, 3 sections and 36 different authors to complete the anthology! I submitted a breakdown of a possible “Grim Future” and guess what? Your truly was selected to be one of the Grim Future writers! Woot! Woot! I am very excited to be working on this project! Which brings me to the next effort…

I started critiquing other writer’s stories too! During my networking at the grim5next anthology, I met an J. Whitworth Hazzard, author of the zombiemechanics blog  who turned me on to  Critique Circle. It’s a forum (with a free and a premium level of service) where writers can post stories and other writers can critique them. Not only are other writers  critiquing my stories, I am also doing the same for them–what a learning process this has been! It is certainly helps improve my writing and reading skills.

In addition to all of this, I am writing small reviews for the books I have been reading.  I’ve published some of them on this blog, but then decided to create a new blog dedicated to just my review work. I will be migrating all of the book reviews from this blog to the N.S. Nicholas Book Review Blog: Candles, Wine and  a Book site. Most of the reviews are short and sweet, but I have been influenced by a lot of my online friends lately and plan to pick up the word count in future reviews! I just need to balance my time right! The latest review I am working on is for Bone Dressing, by Michelle I Brooks.

Lastly, while keeping up with all of the above  I am still plugging away at my own work and inching closer and closer to completing my first self-published project!  I’ve updated the Works in Progress link at the top of the and split the page between Series in progress and Stand-alone works in progress, so check them out for more updates!

I would like to thank everyone who’s visited by blogs, visited me on goodreads or twitter. This whole experience is such a blast!

Yours truly,

-Nick

 

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