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  1. #1
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    Exchange of Debts

    It has been a long time since I felt compelled enough to create a story centered around a character I created in a game. I enjoy Defiance (the game and the show), and the possibility of tie-ins between both is something new and intriguing in this genre, so I hope both succeed so we can see the potential realized. With that being said, I present to you, Part 1 of Exchange of Debts - an original story I just couldn't get out of my head.

    UPDATE 6/11/13:I am running a bit behind on writing up Part 4 (Aside from RL - like troubleshooting a laptop, too much actual playing of the game), plus I wanted to see how the Plague story would crossover and the rough timeline in the show. I still plan on getting a page up on my website which will have a PDF copy of the story as I continue to write (once said laptop is working correctly). Stay tuned here for a link once I get everything squared away.

    UPDATE 6/24/13:Almost have the 5th and Final Part of Welcome to Defiance ready to post here. Hoping to get it wrapped up by mid-week. The good news is that I finally have gotten my new laptop up and running and have created the fan page on my site where the story will continue: www.realmillenniumgroup.com/Defiance.html

    Exchange of Debts
    Welcome to Defiance - Part 1
    Note - this story takes place between Episodes 6 and 7 of the TV show.

    It looked like it would be a fine day on duty for William Cassidy. It was one of those nice sunny days that wouldn’t turn out to be too hot or too cold. No, it would be just right for standing around for half the day watching the valley where the stasis net once stood to protect Defiance. However, it was sabotaged by one of the Votan aliens a few weeks back which almost lead to Defiance being overrun by the Volge. They were able to survive that battle, but there are more than Volge out in the wilds that could threaten the town, so it was decided to maintain the patrols that the old Lawkeeper performed and maintain a watch on the valley. There were a dozen or so people from the town who volunteered their time to be on the watch, and earn at least a bit of scrip on the side thanks to a fund set up by the Mayor. The repairs to the net were going to take a long time – the control room was pretty much blown to pieces and getting all the parts and equipment needed to effect repairs was not the easiest thing to do out in their neck of the Badlands.

    The only bad thing that Cassidy had to look forward to was his fellow guardsman today – a Castithan who was one of Tarr’s cronies. Cassidy really wasn’t fond of any Votan, but the Castithans in particular rubbed him the wrong way, especially those who were part of Datak Tarr’s dislikable crew. Today, however, Cassidy wasn’t going to let his disappointment get the better of him. He was simply going to keep as far away from the alien as possible. However, it didn’t look like he was going to be that lucky. Just when we was about to check up on the repair crew, his hailer started beeping. He pulled the device out and saw it was from the current patrol.

    “This is Cassidy, go ahead.”

    “We got something coming your way and fast,” a voice replied from the other end of the channel. “Blue roller – could be a Duni Shetarru. Guy that’s behind the wheel just took down a pack of Saber Wolves - alone.”
    “Roger that,” Cassidy replied. He turned to the Casty. “Hail the Lawkeeper, if this guy can take down a whole pack, he has to be carrying some serious firepower.”

    Cassidy released the safety on his rifle and headed towards the checkpoint at the gap between the cliff walls – the gap that the stasis net once protected, followed by a third watchmen. In the distance he could see a cloud of dust being kicked up, and it was getting closer. After a few moments, they could make out the roller moving towards them at top speed. It was covered in grime and looked like it had taken a dive off a cliff, but the vehicle looked to be sturdy enough to withstand more than a few shots and showed no signs of slowing down. Cassidy heard the click of the safety on the other watchmen’s weapon, and heard him mutter a worried comment under his breath.

    The Casty ran up to join them just as the roller was about to reach the gap. “The Lawkeeper is on his way,” he said.

    All three men raised their weapons, ready to fire upon the oncoming roller when it suddenly skidded to a halt a few dozen meters from where they stood. It sat there for a few moments, the hum of the engine the only sound that could be heard. The third watchmen jumped slightly when the door to the roller cracked open. He had taken part in the Battle of the Volge, but he was by no means a fighter in any sense of the word known to Cassidy.

    “Wait here,” Cassidy told his two companions as he slowly approached the roller, rifle at the ready.

    The man in the driver seat didn’t move, but simply watched as Cassidy approached. He wore a dark cap and Cassidy could see the letters EREP on a patch on the side. The front of the cap looked like it had a faded yellow silhouette of a hellbug on it. The rest of his attire was a military green, but it didn’t look like a uniform that Cassidy was familiar with, and he didn’t look like any of the Earth Republic goons that had been to Defiance in the recent weeks. He could see a holstered pistol on the side of the man’s leg and what looked to be some kind of hunting rifle in the seat next to him. There was a sheathed dagger on the front of his worn metal chestplate. The man had short brown hair and a short scruff of a moustache and beard, a trimmed 5 o'clock shadow look.

    “Keep both hands on the wheel and don’t move unless I tell you,” Cassidy told the man.

    The man seemed to relax a bit with that and it almost looked like a small smile – almost a smirk – crossed his face. “That’s not quite the welcome I expected in Saint Louis,” the stranger said.

    “This isn’t Saint Louis anymore,” Cassidy told the man. “Who are you and where are you coming from?”

    “That all depends on who you ask and when,” the man replied. “For the most part, you can say I am from Paradise … for the time being.”

    Cassidy was stunned. “You’re from the West? You crossed the Storm Divide?”

    “You could say that. Not the most pleasant of trips that I have had the opportunity of taking, but certainly one of the more interesting.”

    “What business brings you out this way?” Cassidy asked, completely forgetting the stranger never told him his name.

    “That all depends. If this is Defiance, then that is why I am here.”

    “And what do you need to do in Defiance?” Cassidy replied.

    “I am told there is someone here that I was hoping to find,” the stranger answered. “You’ve probably heard this before, but I’m not here to cause any problems. I just wanted to catch up with an old friend, you might say.”

    Cassidy looked at his two companions. They stood ready in case problems were exactly what they were going to have at any moment. “Well, stranger, our Lawkeeper’s on his way. I’m sure he can help you find whoever you’re looking for. You’ll just need to wait here for him. Should only take a few more minutes.”

    The stranger tilted his head slightly, as if listening to something, but Cassidy heard nothing out of the ordinary.

    “Ahh, well that’s even better,” the stranger said after a moment. A smile appeared on his face. “That’s exactly who I came to see.”

    With that, the stranger vanished from sight. Out of the corner of his eye, Cassidy saw his two companions jump and look at one another in shock. Cassidy himself was trying to decide if he should approach the roller or send a bullet into the driver seat when the door suddenly slammed shut and the engine revved up, spinning the wheels and kicking up a cloud of dirt and rocks. Before they could react, the vehicle peeled out and bounded in the direction of the town. It was gone before Cassidy could even raise his rifle to fire a parting shot.

  2. #2
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    Exchange of Debts
    Welcome to Defiance - Part 2

    “There it is.” Defiance Lawkeeper Joshua Nolan pointed at a blue roller obscured by some brush on the outskirts of the town. He stopped the Dodge Charger a dozen meters away from the hiding spot and he and Irisa got out and began to approach the vehicle, slowly, guns at the ready.

    The roller had blown past their Charger as they had almost reached the stasis net. Nolan told Tommy to follow the roller in their truck, while he and Irisa continued on to the net in the Charger to find out what had the watch guard and outer patrol so agitated. While they were debriefing Cassidy, Tommy hailed to let them know that the roller had outpaced the truck and that he had lost them.
    “Call Tommy, let him know where we are.”

    They circled the roller, trying to see if anyone may still be inside, but there were no signs of the driver. Nolan approached the driver side door and nodded to Irisa to cover him. He opened the door with one hand, all the while, his pistol trained for the perfect shot, should it be needed. In the distance, they heard the truck approaching with Tommy. There was no one inside - that they could see at any rate.

    “I think we’re clear,” Nolan said.

    “Do you believe what the guard said?” Irisa asked, her tone indicating that she had more than just doubts.

    “No reason not to,” Nolan replied, as he began to search the interior of the roller. “He could be one of Von Bach’s Arkhunters, implanted with that EGO device.”

    “EGO device?” Tommy asked. He had jogged up to the pair just in time to catch Nolan’s comment.

    The Lawkeeper stopped his search and straightened back up to look at his deputy. “Environmental Guardian Online, it’s a bionetic implant that was used on some Ark Hunters hired by Von Bach Industries.” Nolan scanned the area around them with his eyes, looking for signs of where the mystery visitor might have gone.

    “So you think it’s one of the Hunters from the New Freedom?” Irisa asked him.

    “It’s possible,” Nolan replied. He gave Irisa a look that indicated she shouldn’t say anything else in front of Tommy.

    “What’s the New Freedom?” Tommy asked.

    Nolan gave a little sigh. “It was a stratocarrier that Irisa and I hitched a ride on when we were out in the Bay Area a while back.” He looked back at the roller, then at Tommy. “Let’s finish searching this thing, then tow it back town. We’ll bring you up to speed once we get back.”

    Irisa and Tommy began to go through the roller, looking to see who the Ark Hunter might be and if he left anything behind, while Nolan began to search the brush and ground around the area, looking to see where the Hunter might have headed off, though he was pretty sure he already knew the answer.

    “There’s nothing much here,” Tommy said when they finished the search. “Some changes of clothes, but nothing to tell us who this guy is.”

    Nolan nodded. “I’m not surprised. It looks like our Ark Hunter headed off in that direction.” He pointed, indicating the direction of the some of the foothills that overlooked Defiance. He looked at his deputy, “Are you OK getting this back to town.”

    Tommy nodded. “I’ll handle it.”

    “Good, Irisa, you’re with me.” Nolan said, marching off towards the Charger.

    Once they were in the car and on their way towards the foothills, Irisa turned towards her adoptive father. “You look worried.”

    “Do I?” Nolan kept his eyes on the road.

    “You think it’s the Ark Hunter who helped us find the gem, don’t you?”

    Nolan nodded his head slightly. “Cassidy’s description does sound familiar.”

    “Do you think he came here just to get it back?”

    “From what he told Cassidy, it sounds like it.”

    “How do you think he knew to come here?” Irisa asked him.

    Nolan let out a breath. There were only two people that came to mind that would be able to provide that information to someone coming from Paradise. One of them at least he still trusted not divulge that to anyone else. The other, however … “I have my suspicions,” he said, and looked at Irisa to indicate he didn’t want to go into it any further for the moment.

    They spent the next half an hour searching around the foothills but found what Nolan already suspected. The Ark Hunter had been there, but was already gone – the trail leading into the town itself. They hailed Tommy to let them know that they would meet him back at the jail. On the way back, Nolan could see Irisa staring at him, waiting for him to say something. He must have looked more worried than he wanted to let on. He was hoping to avoid the inevitable, but it looked like he was going to have to tell her what he learned from his friend, Eddie Braddock. Eddie was one of the two people who knew where he and Irisa had gone after they left the Bay Area. And he was the one he could trust not to reveal that information, especially because of the surprise that Eddie had revealed to him. And it was probably the reason that the Ark Hunter had risked the journey across the Storm Divide to find him. Varus Soleptor had put a price on both his and Irisa’s heads because of the Libera Nova Gem they had been hired to retrieve for the Liberata, and subsequently made off with after they had found it – with the help of that Ark Hunter.

    After they had gotten back to town and were walking up to the jail, Irisa finally broke the silence. “So what are we going to do now?”

    Nolan paused with his hand on the door handle and looked back at her. “We wait. I’m sure our Ark Hunter will come to us sooner rather than later.”

    He opened the door, and immediately sensed something was wrong. He held his other hand back to warn Irisa to stay where she was as he drew his pistol out of its holster. It was only a moment before his eyes caught up with his senses and saw Tommy unconscious on the floor inside the jail cell. Irisa also drew her pistol and ignored Nolan’s silent warning, following Nolan as he entered the room. They looked around, but saw nothing else out of place.

    “Ahh, just the two people I was hoping to see,” a voice said out of the air.

    Nolan and Irisa looked in the direction of the table, where it sounded like the voice had originated. As they did, they saw a form fade into existence in the chair, with legs outstretched on the table. The form turned out to be a man, with a cap and outfit that matched the description that Cassidy had provided for them. In his hands was a black XAR-22 Assault Rifle that was pointing in their direction.

    “Nolan and Irisa. It’s so good to see you again,” the Ark Hunter said. “Please drop your weapons.”

    Nolan glanced at Irisa, to make sure she knew that he wanted her to comply. They did and raised their hands to indicate that they were not going to do anything, for the moment.

    “I wish I could say the same,” Nolan replied. “I don’t think we ever did get your name.”

    The Ark Hunter smiled. “James Wyler.”

  3. #3
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    I'm going to finish reading part 2 later. Part 1 was great! Keep up the good work.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadPanther86 View Post
    I'm going to finish reading part 2 later. Part 1 was great! Keep up the good work.
    Thanks! Here's part 3. I'm hoping to get part 4 and the page on my site set up during the rest of the week.

    Exchange of Debts
    Welcome to Defiance - Part 3

    “Now that we have that out of the way, could you please kick your weapons towards me, carefully of course. We wouldn’t want to have any accidents” Wyler said. After Nolan and Irisa complied, Wyler picked up the pistols and placed them on the table next to him, without taking his eyes, or rifle, off of the pair.

    “You can relax and put your arms down,” Wyler told them. “No need to be so formal.” Nolan and Irisa lowered their arms, but remained wary and at the ready, unsure of what to make of the Ark Hunter.

    Wyler looked at Nolan and twisted the assault rifle slightly, as if to give him a better look. “I don’t suppose you recognize this little beauty do you?”

    Nolan shook his head. “Should I?”

    “I didn’t think so,” Wyler replied, slightly caressing the black metal of the rifle with his left hand. “That was a good story – I have to admit you got me with that one. But nevertheless, this has turned out to be a pretty nice addition to my collection.”

    Nolan nodded his head slightly, remembering the last encounter he had with the Ark Hunter back in the bay area. The rifle and the story was what he was able to distract the Ark Hunter with in order to make off with the gem. It wasn’t the same rifle that Cassidy had seen in the passenger seat of the roller, so the Ark Hunter must have found a place to stash it on his way to the jail. “I supose it’s a little late to apologize for that,” Nolan replied.

    Wyler dismissed the notion with a slight wave of his hand. “My own fault, really. Though you did cost me a nice pile of scrip … and made Varus a very unhappy Liberata.”

    “So I heard. What did you do to my deputy?” Nolan asked, looking over his shoulder at Tommy, who lay unmoving in the jail cell. He wanted to get off the subject of Varus for the moment, especially since Irisa did not yet know about Varus putting a price on both their heads.

    “He’ll be fine, he’s just taking a much needed rest,” Wyler replied.

    Irisa shifted slightly, clearly agitated about the current situation, but still looking for an opening in which to turn the tables on the Ark Hunter. “How did you find us?”

    “Let’s just say a mutual acquaintance provided some helpful information on your whereabouts,” Wyler replied. “It took a while to get her to open up – she’s not really the talkative sort, but fortunately, I have a way with Irathients.”

    “Rynn,” Irisa said. She looked at Nolan. “You never should have let her go.”

    “It was the right thing to do,” Nolan replied.

    Wyler nodded in confirmation. “Indeed it was, and I’m glad you did. I am sure you can imagine my joy at hearing the good news that my two good comrades in arms were still alive and kicking. In fact, all the way here I had this Old Earth song running through my head. You know, the one that goes ‘I shot the Lawmaker.’”

    In the blink of an eye Irisa had pulled one of her daggers from its sheath and sent it flying directly towards Wyler’s head. A blink was all the Ark Hunter needed however. Moving faster than any human possibly could, Wyler dove to his left out of the chair, then was back up on his feet, gun at the ready. The dagger plunged harmlessly into the wall behind the chair.

    “Irisa, no!” Nolan shouted. He reached out and grabbed her arm to prevent her from doing something else and getting them both killed.

    Much to both their surprise, the Ark Hunter cracked a rye smile. “Perhaps I should start with the deputy.” While he continued to point the assault rifle at Nolan and Irisa, Wyler reached into one of his belt pouches and pulled out a holographic badge, tossing it on the table. “No need to worry, though, it appears we’re still all on the same side after all.” It was a Deputy Lawmaker badge from Paradise.

    “Thank you for providing me with a bit of entertaining revenge,” Wyler said as he placed the assault rifle on the table and reached over to pull the dagger out of the wall.

    He picked up the pistols and walked over to Irisa and offered her weapons back. “I see you are as charming as ever.” She took it, but looked like she was just as likely to send it back to him, and not miss this time, despite Nolan’s warning. Wyler then turned to Nolan.

    “Cooper sends his love by the way.” He handed Nolan his pistol and dug a vial of blue fluid and an injector out of another belt pouch. “This is for your deputy. He’ll wake up with a bit of a headache, but he’ll be no worse for the wear.”

    Nolan handed Irisa the vial and injector. “Take care of Tommy and get him checked out by the Doc. I need to have a talk with Wyler here.”

    Irisa was about to protest but Nolan gave her a look that told her he meant business. She unlocked the cell and knelt next to Tommy while Nolan and Wyler looked on. She attached the vial to the injector and placed the hypo against Tommy’s neck, pulling the trigger. There was a slight hiss and the fluid drained from the vial. In a moment, the dark-skinned deputy began to move and groaned slightly. Irisa helped him to his feet and put one arm around her neck to help support him. Tommy was still to groggy to talk as Irisa led him out of the cell, and then towards the door. Nolan watched in silence until they were gone and the door shut behind them.

    He turned to the Ark Hunter. “I supose we had that coming,” he said. “I know Varus has a bounty out on us, and it’s worth more than what he was offering us for the gem. Can I take it now that you’re not here to collect, or are you still playing games?”

    Wyler sighed and thought for a moment. “It is a nice pile of scrip,” he agreed. “However, as much as a part of me wanted to shoot the both of you at one point, I actually came for a different reason, though I hope you learned a lesson about messing with a man who has an EGO.”

    Nolan gestured at the table and chairs. “I think we have. Why don’t we sit down and see what we can do for each other, then,” he said.

    As they did so, Wyler took the Deputy badge from the table and attached it to his shirt. He was no longer the Ark Hunter, but a Deputy Lawmaker. Nolan drew attention to the assault rifle. “How much of your collection do we have to look forward to seeing?”

    Wyler smiled. “I have a bit hidden away. I assume you searched my roller?” Nolan indicated that they did. “I will have to gather it back up at some point, but it should be safe from prying hands for now. The arsenal certainly did come in handy on the trek here.”

    “I can imagine,” Nolan said, remembering his and Irisa’s own journey from the Bay Area. “Our patrol said you had a run in with a local pack of Saber Wolves.”

    Wyler leaned back in his chair and looked at the ceiling. “Is that what they were?” He looked back at Nolan. “Those things can give an adult Hellbug a run for its scrip.”

    “Yeah they can,” Nolan replied. The Saber Wolves had almost done more than that when he and Irisa had arrived to the area. “Now, about why you are here. Irisa doesn’t know about the bounty. I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t mention it to anyone else.”

    Wyler nodded. “That’s OK by me. But you must know that there will be plenty of others looking to collect on that pay day. Like I said, Varus was not very happy to say the least, and he’s not going to let up until he has both your heads on a platter.”

    Nolan sat back, for the first time that Wyler noticed, he had a look of genuine concern, if not fear, on his face. Somehow, though, Wyler suspected the look was not for himself, but for Irisa. “I know,” he said finally.

    “Which gets back to why I’m here,” Wyler said, leaning forward. “Fortunately for you, as I said, Rynn is not really the talkative sort, but one wrong thing said or overheard … plus there still is trade across the Divide. At some point, word is going to get back to Varus.”

    “I supose you are bringing this up because you can offer some kind of protection?”

    “Of a sort.” Wyler sat back again, hands spread on the table in front of him. “I can’t stop the flow of information, but I am in the good graces of our Mr. Soleptor, shall we say. I may not be able to make him completely forget, or forgive, your transgression, but I can convince him that he owes me enough of a favor in return to easing up on his revenge.”

    “If you can do that, you really must have some pull with Varus,” Nolan said, slightly surprised. “I’m not sure if I could pay your price though.”

    Wyler shrugged. “I have had a hand in helping him resolve a few issues which saved him more than a little scrip. It won’t be easy, but I will eventually be able to make him see reason. As for price, I don’t think I mentioned anything about that yet.”

    “So what’s it going to cost us?” Nolan asked.

    Wyler smiled. “Not much, just a favor,” he repled.

    Nolan looked at him, his face indicating disbelief that it would be a simple as that. “What kind of favor?”

    “Have you ever heard of Project Piper?” Wyler asked him.

    “The name doesn’t sound familiar,” Nolan replied.

    Wyler leaned forward again, taking on the air of a conspirator. “Well, then, let me tell you a little story about our friend Rynn and the EMC.”

  5. #5
    Senior Member A Frikn Grizzly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BJWyler View Post
    Exchange of Debts
    Welcome to Defiance - Part 2



    “Nolan and Irisa. It’s so good to see you again,” the Ark Hunter said. “Please drop your weapons.”

    Nolan glanced at Irisa, to make sure she knew that he wanted her to comply. They did and raised their hands to indicate that they were not going to do anything, for the moment.
    didn't read the whole thing but this caught my eye. Irisa would have killed this James character with a thrown knife before he could even see it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Frikn Grizzly View Post
    didn't read the whole thing but this caught my eye. Irisa would have killed this James character with a thrown knife before he could even see it.
    For the story's sake, James might be able to use more than one EGO ability. Sounds like he used Blur to dodge it.

  7. #7
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    MOAR! please

  8. #8
    When will the machinima episodes be up on youtube?

  9. #9
    Member FAMOS K OS's Avatar
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    suspense is killing us >:O

  10. #10
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    Great writing, good plot storyline and an EGO user known by the characters of the show. All the qualities of a terrific read. I'm already hooked mate.

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