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GM

 

In Victori, where the Horror and Heroes collide and the last battle will be fought.

At the end of a story that has happened before, and will happen again.

 

How much time had passed since Eira had parted with Pan and Micah? Since she had gone her own way in this world of stories? 

It was difficult to say. Weeks, at least. Months? Maybe, but probably not. Pan's world was strange. Especially now here, at the end, when the tales were starting to break down around her.

 

The sky was dark, in the middle of the day. Not a cloud in sight, but an armada of flying ships blocked out the sun. Behind them, at the coast, the greatest of the ships dragged the monstrous Crocodile out of the sea by golden chain, leading it towards what remained of Victori.

 

As the ships descended, Pirates leapt from them towards the city. Their mouths and eyes sewn shut, they moved as if they were puppets, scouring the city for all that remained.

 

The Crocodile smashed the great clocktower by the coast, sending the remains tumbling into the streets below.

 

"What a marvelous creature," Frankenstein mused, as he witnessed the destruction. 

 

Eira, Doctor Frankenstein by her side and her army of automatons were all that stood between the people of Victori and total destruction.

 

And yet, there was a bright light out across the sea, shining in the horizon. 

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"Break the chains," said Eira thoughtfully, "and it will no longer be a slave. The automata will act as a distraction..."

 

The automatons were, to the survivors of Victori, like something out of a scientific romance. Eira had cursed the materials that had limited her design, but she knew the next generation would be even better. They were taller and more liquid-looking than Frankenstein's machines, bodies pitched forward like the figureheads of some new sports car, metallic shells made of chrome showing hardly any signs of the workings within. It had been quite an achievement to charge each internal battery with the limited resources of Victori, but she had found her ways, building a vast diesel engine below the castle that gave it power enough for many surprises. Soon there would be atomics, and then more besides that - but first they had to win the battle. 

 

Eira had dressed herself for this occasion, piling her hair high on her head and dying it a brilliant shade of sterling silver, a coloration she had matched around her eyes and mouth. With a gesture, she threw off her bulky outer town and the labcoat underneath, revealing a tightly clinging silver bodystocking that matched the coloration of her army. She stepped up to the big radio microphone in front of her and raised her voice in a shout, broadcasting simultaneously by radio to reach the hidden receiver in each unit.

 

"MASKINER! FÖRSVARA DIN DROTTNING!

 

They spread their wings, internal combustion engines roaring to life, and took off on vertical takeoffs that made a huge smile crack Eira's face. Raising her fist to the sky, she spread her own silvery wings and took off, disp

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Forever Boy

 

Out at sea. 

 

Racing through the sky at the speed of plot.

 

The golden glow of the final wish behind him.

 

His best friend by his side.

 

The Forever Boy returned!

 

---

 

His eyes focused in front of him, Pan took in the sights in the distance. Too far away too see much, beyond the dark shapes in the sky and the giant beast by the sea, he pushed on.

 

"Micah!" Despite the winds, his voice could be heard clearly in his friend's ears. "Behold, Victori! Behold, the Crocodile!" His momentarily serious expression broke into a wide grin.

 

"Behold, adventure!" 

 

Plans? He didn't need any plans. He would do just fine without plans. They had the wish, they had each other, and soon, they would find Eira. What more could he need than his friends and their trust?

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Micah had stayed focused during their trip. He wasn't rude to Pan, but both young men were intent on reaching Eira. On helping their friend, and this land. The time for idle chatter was past. 

 

As they drew closer to the battle, Micah's eyes widened slightly behind his goggles.

 

"That's a lot of ships."

 

Then his gaze was drawn to the crocodile. 

 

"That's a really big croc. Uh..."

 

He glanced slightly toward Pan, his face showing a lop-sided grin.

 

"I'm from Oklahoma, not Florida or Australia, buddy. I'm not much for croc or gator wrestling."

 

His smile sharpened as he looked ahead again. The winds around him picked up some, and the glow of his ethereal wings brightened.

 

"I think I can help clear the skies a bit, though. Someone should have told them the forecast....High chance of thunderstorms."

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Forever Boy

 

Pan grinned at his friend. "Then bring the thunder!

 

Golden dust shimmered around him, brighter and greater. 

 

"I will find Eira."

 

Then, he was gone. A glowing golden trail led from him, straight towards the city. He fought the urge to go fly by the Hooked Man's ship, but he couldn't resist a single swipe along the way. "Hello, Hook." A calm, short declaration as he drew the Forever Blade. He was sure that the Hooked Man would hear him anyway. He struck at the Crocodile's chain once, and then he was gone.

 

The golden trail streaking through the city, Pan could not miss the machines as they set off into the sky. 

 

"Eira!" he shouted, as he flew straight towards her. 

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GM

 

From his flagship, the Hooked Man stared out at sea, at the golden light. His coat dark red coat had a golden trim and was immaculate. His white dress shirt and black pants underneath decidedly less so, torn and dirty. His dark boots were heavy. His black hair was long, his once neat beard growing wild. A wide brimmed dark red hat with golden trim and a fading white feather slowly rose as he stared upon the light. His eyes, previously all but empty and devoid of passion slowly lit up. His lips curled into a grimace as he witnessed the golden streak flying past him. The hook that was where his right hand should be started to shake with anticipation.

 

The ship shook as the chain was struck.

 

"Forever Boy."

 

He raised his left hand, stretching out his long pale fingers. As if pulled on invisible strings, the Crocodile moved, roaring as it trampled through buildings with ease. Bricks and buildings fell, people screamed.

 

And then he noticed Eira's automatons as they rose to meet his armada. And the Thunderbird that approached from the sea.

 

"You brought new friends."

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Micah adjusted his flight slightly as Pan sped off. He'd need to aim this just right, or risk hurting and virtually crippling many people. He had to aim, and wait, until just the right...

 

"Now!"

 

The air screamed around Thunderbird as he blitzed through the air. He was a spear of lightning and thunder, and for moments that stretched into what seemed like hours for him, he flew with an aura of raging weather wrapped tight around himself. A trail of new-spawned clouds fluttered for moments of life in his wake, then died for lack of a sustaining pattern. 

 

Then he was among a section of the airborne pirate armada. And in that moment, with a scream drowned out by the power he'd called forth, Micah unleashed a storm of fury and power. Bolts of lightning as thick as his own body flashed about in a huge sphere of the sky. Their passing produced blinding flashes of light mere yards from most ships, shaking them to their keels with thunderclaps. Winds whipped about, seeking to shred sails and cast crew about. 

 

For a moment, the Thunderbird flagged, just a bit, in the sky. Releasing such energy was exhausting, still....

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GM

 

The Sky-Pirates swarmed through the streets. The ships fired upon the city, buildings crumbling under the canon fire. Pirates emerged from the portals created by the cannonballs, bringing yet more sviolence into the streets.

 

As pirates screamed near the Thunderbird, blinded even through their sewn eyes, others decided to return fire, a tight cannonade trying to keep him in place. Other ships followed the trajectory of the Forever Boy and the Angelic being that he was racing towards, shooting towards them to keep them contained.

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Angelic had intended to order the automatons to engage the pirates, but the pirates struck first, burying her in a tidal wave of bound and jacketed flesh. So the robots swooped past her, obeying their last instructions, and went for the chain that bound the Crocodile. They didn't seem to be doing much damage as they stuck to the links of the chain like so many magnets, but more and more of them were accreting there, grabbing on with chrome metallic hands and teeth. 

 

Eira had had grand plans to order them to tear apart the chain like so many locusts, but now she was a little busy. Shouting her defiance, she threw aside a group of the clinging pirates and grabbed one particularly large one by the throat. Calculating instantly that they could not see her, she instead called in a voice that rang not just from her throat but the half-dozen of her creations that had remained near her. 

 

"Puny things of flesh and bone! Flesh bleeds! Bone breaks! Let me show you!" To her honest surprise, it worked and several of the dangling pirates went spiraling away from Eira and her robots. A few who were too slow got a punch, either from Angelic or her robots, and hung unconscious in their bindings. 

 

When Eira caught sight of Pan, she whooped with laughter. "PAN! BEHOLD!" She gestured at the machines. "THIS IS MY DESIGN!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Forever Boy

 

Pan was by Eira in less than a second, his arms around her and holding her close, before he pulled away, holding her by the shoulders. "They are wonderful!" he exclaimed, as he turned to watch Eira's creations make their work. "We found the Pixies! We made a wish each!" There was laughter in his voice, despite the chaos around them.

 

He grabbed Eira's hand, squeezed it tightly and looked at her. "No matter what, I will make sure you make it home, but first, we have to stop all of this! The Crocodile is the key! If we break the chain, we free it! If we free it, it will turn against the Hooked Man!" 

 

Pan slowly let go of Eira's hand, smiled at her again, and then he was gone in a flash of golden dust. A golden axe already forming in his hands, he was by the chain within moments, swinging his weapon towards another link.

 

The chain would break. He would make sure of it.

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GM

 

The Hooked Man followed the streak of golden light that flew through the city with interest, his dark eyes never letting the Forever Boy out of his sight.

 

He pulled on the wheel, and the ship turned starboard, pulling the Crocodile along with it. The beast stumbled, then swung a massive clawed arm that cut through the Forever Boy's path, straight through the golden dust left behind where he was half a second before.

 

"Focus on the Forever Boy and his friends. Kill them all!"

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Micah wanted to just float there and catch his breath, but the pirates had other ideas. Attacks of all types and sizes flew at him in mid-air, and he took several long moments just to avoid being struck. Then, he was finally able to take a few deep gulps of air, and the slight shake in his hands faded. He looked around at the armada in the sky still, and found it displeasing. So, he decided to do something about that. 

 

"Remember, boys, storms don't die off that quickly!"

 

Thunderbird bright his arms and legs in close, crunching in to what was almost a fetal position. Wind and lightning swirled around him in a corona of energy, flickering with a few traces of the shining gold of Faerie Dust. Then, suddenly, he flung his arms and legs out wide, and there was an explosion. 

Once more the storm was unleashed. Pillars of green lightning as thick as Micah lashed at the ships around him, branching out like a spiderweb when they struck a skyborne vessel. The light was blinding, and waves of thunder rolled over the ships in deafening cracks and rolls of thundering sound. 

 

Micah might not be quite powerful enough to definitely down the entire armada at once, but he sure seemed determined to get as close to that benchmark as possible...

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GM

 

The pirates that had gotten too close to Thunderbird was blown away by the force of the storm. The green lightning blinded them, the deafening thunder took away another sense. The lightning struck several ships, and several began to fall burning towards the ground far below.

 

And yet, the pirates aboard were eerily silent.

 

Cannonballs began to fill the sky. Let loose, the armada began to fire on everything

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"My creations are at work!" she called to Pan, "and so am I!

 

Angelic let her armada take hits that might have destroyed her. As proud as she was of her work, they were non-sentient (she had made sure of that, very carefully) and the occasional joke aside she was not actually a machine supremacist. Even as falling parts fell from the sky, it was clear that her robots had taken the worst of the bombardment, but were continuing to hammer and claw away at the chain that held the great crocodile. Seeing them busy at their work, she decided to take a chance and spread her wings wide, lightning crackling from tip to tip as she made a wild jink through the air and zipped toward the Hooked Man himself. 

 

She zipped past him like a bullet, metallic wings ripping past his head, as the pirate king dodged a blow that might have taken his head clean off. "Hooked Man!" she called. "You are wrong!"

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Forever Boy

 

The Forever Boy struck the chain again. He gritted his teeth, annoyed at its resilience. Where had the Hooked Man fought this thing? Blow after blow, and it held. 

 

Of course, nothing less could hold the Crocodile. 

 

He heard the sound from above, Eira calling out to the Hooked Man, clothes being torn... and nothing else. Pan was gone in a flash, flying in a direct golden line up and around the ship, heading straight towards Eira. Along the way, his shadow broke free, flying down to the Hooked Man and grasping around him, pulling at the pirate, wrapping around him. He twisted around Eira, turned back towards the Hooked Man.

 

"Hook!" he called out, raising his sword. The Forever Boy grinned that grin that Eira and Micah knew so well, just slightly too wide.

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GM

 

 

"Away, metal beast!" the Hooked Man shouted as Angelic struck him with her wings. "The Hooked Man will not fall to the likes of you!"

 

He raised his sword as if to strike, even as Eira moved away, then paused, as he saw the golden dust flying all around him. He opened his mouth to speak, but a snarl was all that escaped his lips as the Forever Boy's shadow grasped him, pulling him back.

 

The Hooked Man swung his sword wildly and Pan felt the air next to him being cut, while the pirate roared out a strained "Forever Booooy!"

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Sweat poured down Thunderbird's face, his neck, and his back. He was moving, but only just; keeping this sort of thing going was terrifically exhausting, and it was taking all he had just to keep the storm going. 

 

'I have no choice. My friends are fighting Hook. They're giving it their all. Facing down that monster. I have to keep this armada away from them. Focused on me!'

 

He grit his teeth and clenched his hands. The whirling waterspouts interspersed with the lightning and thunder and clouds shook, and were suddenly whirling tendrils of sleet and snow. The emerald lightning dimmed for a moment, then surged forth once again. The bolts had a slight bluish-purple tint, as did Micah's wings. The sky shook with wind and thunder as the Thunderbird tore the air with his fury and determination. 

 

'Can't stop! Not now!'

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  • 3 weeks later...

GM

 

The Thunderbird tore through the armada, lightning cracking the sky and tearing ships asunder. If what had once been Sky-Pirates could still scream, they would have, as their ships fell from the sky, crashing into the city below.

 

His efforts did not go unnoticed. With half their forces blown out of the sky, the remaining armada turned their attention towards the Thunderbird. Cannonballs filled the sky around him.

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Angelic landed behind the Hooked Man and responded to his taunting by stabbing him in the back with one of her razor-sharp wingtips, electricity crackling along her wing as she sliced along his ribs. "Pathetic," she sneered with magnificent contempt. "You thought you were a conqueror, a king! You are the shadow of a dead man's fantasies," she insisted, "and I am the embodiment of a new age." She raised her fist to the Heavens and declared as lightning crashed behind her - "I will give this world order!" She turned to Pan and smiled at him. It wasn't the first time he'd seen her smile, her metallic hair solid against the breeze, but it was the first time her smile had been as wide as his own. "Come on, Pan," she said, spreading her wings again as she approached the bound Hooked Man. "Let us do it together!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Forever Boy

 

Pan faltered for half a second, then regained his footing on the very air beneath his feet. 

 

He smiled slightly at Eira's shouts as she struck the Hooked Man. He saw his enemy cursing as he struggled with the strike. No, he had never seen anything like Eira before, had he? Any other day, the story might have turned out the way that the Hooked Man would have wanted, but not today.

 

The Forever Boy held his hand out towards Angelic, while he raised his blade above his head.

 

"Together!" he agreed, his voice raised to a shout. "For a world that burns, for my friends, and for freedom!"

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Posted (edited)

GM

 

The Hooked Man reeled from the automatic woman's strike, yet Pan's shadow held him fast, struck to the floor of his ship. The massive war machine that had once been but a flying ship of adventure turned slowly, as the captain struggled. It followed the whim's of it's master.

 

And yet, fury burned in the Hooked Man's eyes, as his scarlet coat tossed around him, to the movements of the ship.

 

"Order? Order!?His voice was like nails on a chalkboard. "You know nothing of order! This world was chaos, until I brought order! You? You are nothing! Order? Order is control! Order is authorityMY AUTHORITY! And I will not be denied by children! Try as you might, you will never defeat me! You cannot! Only one thing can, and it is in my mi-" 

 

Tik.

 

TOK!

 

The Hooked Man did not finish his sentence.

 

They all heard it. The sound of a clock that struck once more.

 

Time that moved once more. A story, stopped in it's track, moving once again. 

 

The chain splintered. The mighty beast, the Crocodile, moved. It cared not for the automaton's that had freed it, several destroyed as they were caught against it's scales.

 

In the streets below, Doctor Frankenstein laid half buried under rubble, laughing madly at the sky.

 

Far away, the Great White Whale roared to the sky. Inside, Gepetto looked up from his book, turning to the men and woman in the village inside the whale. They knew what was about to happen.

 

A wave of white washed from the farthest shores, slowly moving across Neverworld. The Wish Isle was no more. The Great White Whale disappeared in the nothing.

 

The story was moving, once again.

 

The summer was ending. It was time for the fall.

Edited by RocketLord
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When the armada had fired its latest barrage, after Micah had downed something like half the ships in the air, they had taken the time to coordinate their fire. The air went from being hostile, to being a storm of steel and fire. Thunderbird tried to dodge, to avoid telling blows, but there were simply too many. Blows struck him over and over, and he fell. Down, down down. The storm faded, even as Pan and Eira struck against the Hooked Man. Thunderbird thankfully landed on a spot that was mostly dirt rather than rock and rubble. He bounced and rolled to a stop, seemingly out of the fight.

 

And then, as the Clock struck its tone again, Micah's body glowed golden once more. The final gift of the faeries of Wish Island, was that the young man who only wanted to help his friend, and all the innocent people of Neverworld, was able to do that, even if for just a few moments more. 

 

Slowly, painfully, he opened his eyes and looked up into the sky. He saw his best friend, standing defiant against his greatest foe. Only Eira stood next to Pan. This would not do. He clenched his teeth, and he stood up. His footing was unsteady, and he swayed in the breeze for a moment. He clenched his fists, and the wings of light spawned from his back once more.

 

"Y'all ain't finishin' this fight without me."

 

He crouched as he spoke, ready to rocket into the air like a bolt of rising lightning....

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GM

 

The streak of lightning pulled through the sky, streaking towards the flagship in the middle of the armada, but they had all turned their attention towards a new, perhaps even deadlier target.

 

The armada turned all of their weapons towards the Crocodile, heavy weaponry firing again and again. The beast didn't flinch, or even act like it noticed the attacks, even as explosions rained down across it's body.

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Forever Boy

 

Pan pulled his right hand out to the side, the sword in his hand grew longer and started to glow. If he could see the white nothing approaching from all corners of the world, he didn't seem to care.

 

"No more strings, no more hooks! If fall is coming, then we willl be the ones to bring it!" 

 

Moving in concert with Eira, he leapt forward, swinging his sword.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Puny thing of flesh and bone," hissed Eira as she moved on their prisoner. For the first time, Pan became conscious of a growing number of Eira's automatons who had seemingly abandoned their work on the chain that bound the crocodile to cluster around their maker. They were hard to miss now that they were visibly speaking, sharing the words and movements of Angelic as she advanced on the Hooked Man. She grabbed him by the sides of the head and began to squeeze. "Flesh bleeds! Bone breaks! Here - let me show you!

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