Rifts® Adventure Novella: The Brouhaha Crew. Part 1&2 Fan Fiction for Rifts.

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Rifts® Adventure Novella: The Brouhaha Crew. Part 1&2 Fan Fiction for Rifts.

Post by Lars » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:33 pm




Rifts® Adventure Novella: The Brouhaha Crew.

By Dan Frederick (Lars)

All Rights Reserved.

All characters and other entities appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, dead or alive, or other real-life entities, past, present or other-dimensional, is purely coincidental.


Rifts® is the property of Palladium Books, this is a practice story written in the universe of Rifts. This is a free, fan fiction, and not for sale. This novella is not professionally edited as of yet. I have written two parts to the novella as of yet... I do not intend to ever sell, use, or publish this novella other than here as free to read fan fiction. I have written a Rifts Dimension Book that I may post at the bottom of this novella. The Scorched Lands Book is visited by characters in this novella. The novella and Dimension book were both written entirely by me in 2014 and never submitted to PB. It was all practice material. Reader be warned I never finished a part three. Although after I edit the novella I might be in the mood to add the final part. For now, the story just ends...abruptly.

The Scorched Lands is somewhere I may visit with the Savage Rifts, Chaos Earth, Reign of Chaos group at some point. If you don't read this short story it won't matter to your Character. I just felt like posting the short story somewhere. As I edit it I'll add more here. - Dan/Lars

I apologize for the grammar. This is bad lol. Brouhaha: a noisy and overexcited reaction or response to something.
If you want better, published, other Rifts / Chaos Earth stuff see here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php ... from=&pto= I am pretty proud of the The Rifter® Number 71 & 72 Double Issue, Reaper Cell Story.
Quick links:
Part One
Part Two
Link to unfinished Scorched Lands Dimensional Book




Part One: Inchoation

"...of all the brouhahas in the Megaverse, humanity is the problem and the solution..."
- Megaverse Armaments Demon Lord Kreelo.


Prologue
110 P.A. Devils Archway, St. Louis, Missouri.
CS WAYFARER OPERATION - STRIKE BACK


A Coalition soldier’s worst nightmare was assignment to the military confinement forces at the Devils Archway in the former state of Missouri.

Soldiers assigned to the Coalition States Military Confinement Force were generally there for one of two reasons; either they had angered someone higher up in the chain of command and thus given the dreaded orders to report for duty at the MCF, or they were crazy enough that they wanted to be there.

In either case they were a violent and often out of control force, given high tech weapons and armor to fight the steady stream of hordes of demons that regularly appeared out of the great Rift of the Archway.

The few CS members who wanted to be assigned to the Arch, and were not necessarily counted among the crazy, were the members of the Coalitions Rifts Control Study Group.

Lieutenant Thomas Throne was a RCSG officer who had spent the majority of his career assigned to the Arch by choice.

Over the last year Lieutenant Thorne had spent almost every day hunkered down in the subterranean CS base of operations two blocks away from the Arch. His studies had enraptured his attention and given him his first major breakthrough in regard to ascertaining some sort of pattern to the dimensional attacks of a group of Raiders known as the Delvers.

Lieutenant Throne had taken great pains to employ the MCF towards snatching several intruders from the Arch for enhanced interrogation and applying what he could learn from these captured mages to his own scientific data collected on raids and studying the seemingly random fluctuations of the Arch and subsequent Ley Line storms in the area.

Whether it was luck, which he did not believe in, or the collective research and planning which culminated his careers work at the Arch, when the Delvers next arrived at the Devils Archway the Coalition would be ready for them. It had helped that someone higher up in the CS chain of command had taken an interest in Thorne's scientifically based prediction of the next attack.

Alongside the regular MCF troops who were flying about the area in SAMAS power armor units and the ground assault troops, set up in a wide outer perimeter around the Arch, a large detachment of Coalition Special Forces troops had arrived in the area from Chi Town.

The SF troops consisted of a full battalion of highly trained and dedicated Special Forces operators with a vast amount of combat and field operation experience. Thorne was ecstatic to be heard by his commanding officers and to have the overwhelming force stationed, although temporarily, to the Arch.

From within the subterranean command post Thorne oversaw the joint operation to stage an assault on the dimensional raiders alongside a SF Major named, Nolan Ng.

Major Ng paced back and forth across the steel floor of the command post quietly watching a myriad of monitors which displayed the Arch from dozens of different directions.

Lieutenant Thorne recalled the SF Majors arrival, Thorne had been in the interrogation room with a half dead Line Rifter Mage named Sammy Kensington.

Sammy was a young Ley Line Rifter who hailed from Lazlo and had arrived through the Archway and was captured by the MCF.

Watching as a genetically created Dog Boy slowly punched the kid, Thorne sat back in his chair in front of the interrogation table eating his lunch. A knock at the door sounded and Thorne grumbled.

Standing up Thorne saw that the Psi Hound had stopped hitting the young Mage.

Annoyed Thorne said, "Remove a few of his teeth while I see who is interrupting my lunch. When I come back we'll remove the lads tongue if he still refuses to cooperate".

Turning away from the prisoner Thorne grinned and opened the room’s door. Stepping outside into the hallway he was met by another Dog Boy.

Thorne asked, "What!"

The Dog Boy stood a full foot and a half taller than Thorne but looked down at his feet and in a guttural voice replied, "I am sorry to bother you Sir. A Major Ng of Special Forces has arrived and wishes to speak to you Sir".

Thorne nodded and said, "Fine. Take me to him Corporal Bark Lee".

Making their way to the main communications room of the underground bunker the Dog Boy stepped aside to allow Lieutenant Thorne to enter first. As the Dog Boy took a position of attention along the interior rooms wall Thorne walked over to his desk station.

Thorne saw a young female dressed in non CS body armor sitting at his computer typing away. As Thorne was about to scold her for using his computer a Special Forces Major and another man dressed similarly to the young lady stepped towards him.

Thorne smartly saluted the Major and eyed the man in non-regulation armor. The guy looked like a typical mercenary and had an obvious bionic left hand.

Thorne's disdainful look at the mercenary was interrupted by the SF Major saying, "At ease Lieutenant. Let me introduce ourselves. I am Major Ng of SF team CS3 and this man is our superior in this venture".

The mercenary stepped closer to Thorne and offered his hand to shake saying, "You can call me Zero. My real name is unimportant and frankly need to know. I understand you have predicted the next arrival of a group of dimensional raiders who have been causing the CS some issues in the past".

Thorne hesitated briefly than sighed and shook the man's offered hand.

"I have scientific data to base the prediction on. Major Ng who is this woman using my computer?"

The Major nodded at the man going by Zero who spoke, "She is Bravo Three and she will be uploading some codes we want on your systems. Listen Thorne, you called, we're here. Get used to it fast I don't have the desire to repeat myself. Once we finish our recoding of your systems we will be setting up with the MCF and SF outside. Your "scientific" predictions state that in less than 12 hours this installation, the Arch, will come under attack right?"

Lieutenant Thorne nodded saying, "Yes it..."

"Good. I have approximately 800 Special Forces members with me in addition to Zero's team. Adding the roughly 500 ground forces and 300 air assault forces of the MCF we will have about 1600 troops deployed when the raiders arrive. You stated in your report to Chi Town that this raider group usually deploys around 300 mages and soldiers right?"
The Major asked.

Thorne just nodded yes.

Zero continued, "Right. So, here's how things are going to unfold. The MCF will conduct normal operations and stay on this side of the Arch when the portal opens. They will fight those who arrive through the portal".

Thorne scoffed interrupting saying, "This side! You aren't about to seriously suggest that the SF are going through the portal are you!"

Both men stared at Thorne and Zero said, "Yes Lieutenant Thorne. My team and SF are immediately going through the portal to where ever it leads. This is the new way. We are going to crush these raiders. SF will go through the portal and concentrate on killing the ones who are operating the portal. Be it Shifters or whatever. My team will also go through. After hitting them on the far side of the Rift, SF members will return to Earth and help mop up any raiders left on the Earth side. My team will stay on the other side of the Arch and make sure the portal is closed when we deem we want it closed. Additionally my team will stay on the far side, of there are any raiders who need to be hunted down after the portal is closed".

Thorne was amazed, "How will you return?"

Zero flatly stated, "That is our concern not yours. If there are raiders who need to be hunted down we will do such. Do your part, direct the MCF from here. Let us worry about stragglers on the far side. By day's end we will have crushed these raiders".

Thorne stood quietly and the young lady called Bravo Three said, "Done Zero. We're set at this location. We can go Sir".

Major Ng saluted Zero saying, "I'll stay here and make sure SF and the MCF are prepared. Good luck".

As Zero and Bravo Three left the room, Ng said to Thorne, "Get up to speed or get left behind. This is how the CS is doing things now".

Thorne absently nodded, "Yes Sir".
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Re: Rifts® Adventure Novella: The Brouhaha Crew.

Post by Lars » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:37 pm

Chapter One
DIMENSIONAL RAIDERS: DEVIL'S ARCHWAY


The Temporal Wizard Oleksandr Mads Volkov and the Psi Goblin Maxrax Gyxvyx stood at the base of the black rock hill which their leader, a Temporal Raider named Commander Gregor Grlyss stood upon, surveying his Dimensional Raiders, the Delvers.

Commander Grlyss called out to his ward of fifteen years and student of ten years, "Olek, tell the Delvers to head out".

Max smiled and said, "Yes. About time. Let's do this raid".

Olek glanced down at his friend of the last fifteen years and nodded, "Impatient as always Max. For someone who can supposedly live for a thousand years and claims to be over six hundred, you'd think you would have learned some patience along the way. Go tell Figgle to head in and I'll make sure the rest are ready".

Max rolled his eyes and sighed, "Figgle is an idiot. I still don't know why the Commander hired him".

As Olek strode off towards the ground troops he looked over his shoulder to reply, "Figgle had ten Kittani Insecton Land Rovers and one Dragon Dreadnought to offer to the Commander along with crews to run them. Why did the Commander hire you?"

Max smiled and said, "Personality and I'm smart as a Rulian Translator and as deadly as a Sunaj Assassin. The real question is why he took you on as a student".

Olek laughed as he continued to make his way across the red sand of the scorched planet and said, "You are more slippery than a Pythonan maybe and as dangerous as a Flooper. I on the other hand am as dangerous as a human".

Max shook his head chuckling, "You are a human, dumb dumb".

Olek advanced on Commander Grylss' ground units who were lined up and ready to charge through the soon to be opened portal to Earth. Seeing Magitha, a Staphra female Warlord, he nodded up at her nine foot tall self and said, "Mags how are we looking?"

Magitha looked down at Olek and smiled. The warrior woman was as fierce a combatant that Olek had ever met while a student of the Temporal Arts and a member of the Commanders raids.

She held a finger to her flattened nose and said, "Smell trouble Olek. We are ready. But I feel like this might be a troubled raid".

Olek shrugged saying, "We've done this before and we are nearly 300 strong. The Commander says we are just hitting the Coalition at the Arch as we continue onto the west towards our destination. We'll be exiting Earth from a preselected location, like before, at the Oberlin Nexus hub. Between the Arch and the nexus hub we'll hit our target. You really think the CS is going to be trouble or does it feel farther out?"

Magitha frowned, "I don't know".

Olek nodded, "Well the Commander says we are a go. Be safe Mags. I'll let the two Shifters know that we are ready to strike. Once they open the portal we'll be out of this heat and done dealing with the suns red glare. As secure as our base is here in the Scorched Lands I'll never feel comfortable inter this red sun".

Leaving Mags to direct her ground soldiers Olek moved forward to the great stone archway located out in the wastes of the red desert where two Shifters stood. Both Shifters were dressed in dark robes with just their faces showing. The two D-Bee mages were similar to humans except for their odd purple large eyes and green skin. They had been employed by the Commander longer than he had been a student.

Olek swept his black cloak up in order to avoid trailing the bottom edge through the red dust. Holding the cloak in his right hand he jogged up the slight rise to the stone and dirt mound which the two Shifters stood upon. They had their ritual laid out across the great stone ground and Olek carefully negotiated his way across it, careful to not disturb it. Standing near the great black stone dolmens Olek said, "Ready"?

One of the green skin Shifters held up a hand and said, "That's far enough pupil, and I can hear you from there initiate".

Olek smirked and sighed his annoyance, "After fifteen years of doing this Hudsek I know how to not disturb your patterns".

The D-Bee named Hudsek shrugged and said, "Whatever pupil. Like I said, I can hear you from there. I assume the Commander wishes to proceed now?"

Olek nodded.

Hudsek muttered, "Than unless you wish to sacrifice your energy I suggest you piss off".

The other Shifter chuckled.

Olek turned about and made his way back towards the Commander. If he wasn't used to the two jerks he might have lost his temper.

Olek let his cloak drop back down to flow behind his rapid footsteps; leaving little dust eddies to swirl behind him in the reddish dirt. With his long grayish black hair tied back behind his head, his blue eyes surveyed the Delvers.

Nearly 300 strong, power armor from across the 'verse, alien combat vehicles and a myriad of soldiers and mages of varied specialties, the Commander had amassed a well-trained and heavily armed and armored group of dimensional raiders. The Delvers were all experts and had been raiding Earth, the Naruni across a multitude of worlds and more often lately, the dimensional market in Atlantis. It was said that Lord Splynncryth had a fifty million credit bounty on the Commander and one million on each of his lieutenants.

Ironically Lord Splynncryth was their current employer. Of course the great alien intelligence didn't know the contract was being fulfilled by the Delvers, an intermediate party had subcontracted the Delvers on behalf of the intelligence. The Sunaj who had arrived at the Delvers base here in the Scorched Lands had met with the Commander while Olek was present. Part of the mission was not letting on who was paying.

Olek tried to push his hatred of the Shifters out of his mind and concentrated instead on making his way back over to the Commander. Max was already standing by the Temporal Raider and chatting to the Commander.

As he made his way up the black rock hilltop to stand under the blazing red glare of the sun Olek watched the Commander raised his arm and then let it drop.

The pull of energy was felt by all the mages in the area as the two D-Bee Shifters tore open the Rift from the world primarily made up of red desert through the great archway located on Earth.

Troops advanced towards the opening with the Insecton Tanks taking the lead. Ground troops followed and Max jumped up and down with two black magic daggers held ready.

Turning to face the open Rift Olek barely dogged out of the way of laser blasts which streaked across the expanse and had originated on the far side of the Rift.

The Commander took one step back from the Rift and growled, "Get up there with Magitha and assist the ground troops. The CS won't breach the Rift, they are cowards and I want us through the portal now. Destroy them Oleksandr".

Olek quickly spoke a spell and stepped forward. He jolted from where he had been standing and appeared next to Mags. Pulling out his two magic swords he advanced towards the open Rift behind the raiders tanks. Magitha glanced sideways at him and said, "There are more than usual".

Olek nodded and continued to watch the portal wary of being struck by laser blasts. His stolen Sunaj armor wouldn't help him if he took a blast to the face since he wasn't wearing a helmet. As he jogged forward he spoke out a spell of Armor of Ithan. The invisible shield which surrounded him now made him feel safer.

Stepping quickly and carefully through the portal onto Earth Olek kept himself behind an Insecton tank and glanced around. As the ground troops of the Commander spread out they ran forward towards CS soldiers. Mages unleashed spells of damage and the CS hit back with blasts of laser and rockets.

Olek could hardly hear Mags as she yelled out orders to the raiders. Several raiders in flying power armor engaged the SAMAS power armor which swept down towards those on foot. Olek immediately realized that the usual containment forces were augmented by a lot of extra CS soldiers. This was an unusual amount of resistance and he tallied up the CS he could see and started to worry. There was well over a thousand CS troops converging on the Delvers.

In addition to the staggering numbers, Olek was amazed to see that hundreds of the Coalition had forgone attacking the Delvers as they raced through the portal to Earth, and they were uncharacteristically flying through the Rift to the dimension on the other side.

Olek stopped advancing and turned to watch as hundreds of CS power armor units swept in amongst those still on the scorched planet. From his vantage point he could see a dozen SAMAS attacking the hill which the Commander was standing on.

Olek grabbed Max by the arm as the Goblin made to rush by and attack some soldiers on this side of the portal.

"Look! The CS is flooding through the Rift and attacking the Commander and those still over there".

Max paused in his attack and turned to look, "Crap Oli, what the hell".

Olek let the Goblin go and prepared to step through space to the Commander. Preparing his spell he was interrupted by Max pushing him to the ground. Muttering at the lost energy and unfinished spell Olek looked around and saw several troops were emerging from a black container nearby. They had opened fire on the location he had occupied moments ago. One or two bullets ricocheted off his Armor of Ithan from the advancing troops. Unlike the thousand plus CS soldiers swarming about and engaged in combat with the Delvers these half dozen troops wore non CS gear.

Rolling across the ground Olek saw Max disappear. The Goblin had used his natural ability of going invisible and disappeared from sight. It was a good idea reflected Olek as he pushed himself up off the ground. These non CS troops were headed straight at him.

Ducking down and trying to be as small of a target as possible Olek took half a dozen hits from several types of weapons fire. Thankfully the Ithan spell was still holding. A quick glance around to see how the other raiders were doing, and to look for an escape route, Olek saw his friend Mags being pummeled to the ground by a succession of rail gun fire from ten CS SAMAS.

Instinct screamed at him to help her. Reality prevented him from running to her. He knew that any instant now and she would be torn to shreds. The only thing running to her would do, would be to keep him in the sights of these troops attacking him. Briefly he considered pulling lightning down on them but knew when he was out gunned. Olek hoped the Commander would draw the same conclusion. The Delvers were by far better fighters in Oleks opinion but they were outnumbered by 5 to 1 odds. On top of the fact that at least half the CS were some sort of Special Forces unit and not the usual containment force.

Olek turned to face the advancing six non CS troops and saw past them into the container. It was large enough for twice as many as had exited it. Looking like it was empty he spoke the same spell he had been casting when Max had pushed him. Tearing invisibly across the distance instantly he reappeared inside the box behind the non CS troops. They looked shaken that he had, from their vantage points just disappeared, but they continued to press forward towards the open Rift.

Olek carefully looked out the container box towards the portal wondering why the Commander didn't have the portal closed. It would mean the loss of half his force but was tactically better for those still on the red planet.

Olek saw that the two green skinned Shifters had been targeted and slain already. They wouldn't be closing the portal, but the Commander could. Glancing that direction, Olek almost abandoned the safety of the large box and went to the Commanders side. Under a steady and continuous hail of attacks the CS on that side of the portal were concentrating all their attacks on the Commander. Teleport, thought Olek. Flee damn it. No matter how powerful the Temporal Raider was he was facing a relentless and massive amount of CS soldiers.

Frowning Olek was torn, honor demanded he assist his instructor, survival dictated staying hidden. It was fruitless, with that many CS soldiers on the far side of the portal the only thing his returning to the Commanders side would do was unsure his death own too.

Olek saw the non CS troops, in non CS power armor suits, step through the portal to the far side and engage those there. He decided that he had to try something. Preparing a spell, and getting ready to act he heard Max behind him.

"Don't Oli. If you go back you'll die. There are thousands of the CS on both sides of the portal. Look. Look at the Commander". Max was still invisible as he spoke.

Looking out of the bunker, through the Rift, Olek saw that the Temporal Raider had refused to flee or surrender. The Commander was torn to pieces by an onslaught of rail gun fire. Olek felt weak in the knees, his master and commander was dead. Looking out to the left he looked for Mags. Unable to discerned her whereabouts Olek saw several deceased members of the Delvers. The raiders on this side of the Arch were falling under the heavy fire and attack by the CS.

"How did this happen Max?" Olek asked as he stepped further back into the small deployment bunker, "What do we do now?"

As if in answer to his question the main doors of the bunker slammed closed. Olek returned to the door and looked out the small window into the face plate of a CS troop. The Coalition soldier stood outside and ran his finger across his neck in the universal sign of cutting some one’s head off. The soldier then pointed through the window and tapped the fortified glass.

As the CS soldier moved out of view Olek could see the portal of the Arch blink and close. A thousand CS troops moved about outside, cheering and high giving each other they moved about excitedly. Several stood guard outside the bunker. Olek saw that the non-regulation wearing soldiers had not returned to Earth.

Behind him Max said, "Bugger".
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Re: Rifts® Adventure Novella: The Brouhaha Crew.

Post by Lars » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:43 pm

Chapter Two
IRON GUARDSMAN: MAGIC ZONE


Haden Longfellow watched the battle. He counted the CS troops and attacking raiders. Numbers roamed around in his mind, from costs of repairs to surviving troop strengths. As a member of the original Iron Guardsman mercenary company he had worked for Commander Sonja Kerram for the last eight years as one of her lieutenants.

The Guardsman had hired on to explore the Magic Zone and the Devils Archway in St. Louis a few months ago before being betrayed by the demon who hired them. Haden thought about the epic battle afterwards. Commander Kerram had decapitated the demons head and assumed command of his forces too.

Now the vast human and D-Bee army of about 1,517 mercenaries which included Battle Magus, Blood Warriors, Bursters, Borgs, Crazies, Headhunters, Line Walkers & Rifters, Mind Melters, Mystics, Necromancers, Power Armor Pilots, Shifters, Soulmancers, Techno Wizards, Wilderness Scouts and Mystic Knights were camped in the dense forest about a hundred miles from the Devils Gate.

Haden was one of the few who also knew Kerram had about 7,290 Demons in her army, including about 200 other monsters such as 100 Psi Goblins, 25 Brodkil, Thornheads, Witchlings and Neuron Beasts.

Haden had no idea why the Commander was employing these creatures and also knew he was better off not asking. As much as he felt loyal to the Commander he also realized his judgment was likely clouded due to a crush he had on the exceptionally beautiful woman.

Haden knew she was keeping the Guardsman busy fighting the CS in the Magic Zone, working on recruiting, and building something she called a Hell Pit. Two pits in fact were being constructed. It was probably something the Techno Wizard should be concerned about but he had been content to follow her leadership and wait and see how things played out. As long as the Guardsman continued to stomp on the CS any given opportunity they could, Haden would follow Sonja Kerram to Hell. He also knew that since he had a strong head for numbers and strategy she would keep him.

Right now what mattered was simple. Haden had been tasked with meeting with Lord Kreelo of Megaverse Armaments to secure the purchase of Bone Armor, Chaos Trooper Armor, and Carnage Tanks for the Iron Guardsman.

He was fascinated at the prospect of getting his hands on the armaments and testing them out. As a Techno Wizard the gear was something he couldn't wait to try out and maybe modify.

Haden and the others with him had heard the sounds of combat at the Arch while passing by and stopped to investigate.

One other issue the Commander had confided in him was the knowledge that a Deevil Overlord named Shade and Shade's, Dragon Lord Army were marching towards the ruins of Tolkeen to investigate Information on Shadow Dragons.

Haden remembered the Shadow Dragons from the last days of war with the CS. He knew it was a resource that he wouldn't want falling into an enemies hands.

Commander Kerram said that Shade had roughly 21,000 minions including 10,000 Shadow Beasts, Harpies, Demon Wolves, Imps, Nexus Deevils, Deevils, 3,200 Deevil Dragons, Human Shifters, Soulmancers, Line Walkers and Necromancers working with him. The numbers were staggering and if he encountered the Dragon Lord Army he was supposed to fall back and notify her.

Haden hadn't thought it likely that the battle at the Arch would be Shades army but he wanted to check just in case. He was eager to get to the rendezvous location to meet Kreelo, but also eager to please Sonja. If he located the Dragon Army she would be pleased with him.

Haden lowered the techno wizard modified binoculars he was using to watch the raiding force get beaten back through the Rift. After the Rift was closed most of the fighting was over. It was interesting to note the CS had breached the Rift and gone after those on the other side.

Turning around Haden faced the others in his group. Two trainees in the art of Techno Wizardry, Mulligan and Gains, who he was tutoring, a Mystic Knight named The Corrupter, a female Dragon Juicer named Layla and a full conversion cyborg named Swisher. The six of them were traveling in a Ley Line Skiff. Although the ship was big for just the six of them its large size would be needed to transport the purchased goods back to Commander Kerram.

Haden said, "Okay. Let's go. Back aboard the Drifter. We have a meeting to get to".

The others nodded and used the techno wizard hover platform to lift up and get on board. Haden grinned at The Corrupter as he saw the Dark Knight eyeing the backside of the Dragon Juicer. The Knight didn't respond but Haden couldn't blame the guy. Layla was dressed provocatively in Dragon skin armor which left little to the imagination. The girl wasn't someone Haden would want to piss off; he had seen her beat a regular Juicer to death with her bare hands last week in camp. The guy had laughed at her skimpy outfit saying she was stupid and going to get killed in the outfit.

Sonja had dismissed the incident and later told Haden she liked the girl’s attitude. Saying that maybe the dragon Layla had killed for its skin was a small dragon. Haden rather thought that the odds were Layla had destroyed the dragon so badly that only a little skin was left. Sonja had laughed and said he might be right. Unlike most Dragon Juicers who wore a harness that pumped dragons blood throughout their body, similar to normal Juicers did chemicals, Layla was known to drink Dragons blood straight from Dragons. Like a vampire she fed off Dragons and thus apparently didn't need to wear a harness. Haden often wondered how many times she would get away with that before she literally bit off more than she could handle.

Haden put his old naval cap on and stood at the wheel to the skiff. Activating the engine the ship utilized the energy of the Ley Line for power.

Both of his students stood by his side while the others disappeared below deck. Only Layla stood outside up at the prow of the Drifter.

Sighing Haden thought, 'This is the life. Piloting my own creation through a Ley Line, with Layla's backside for a view. A Captain of the Iron Guardsman. If only we still held Tolkeen'.

Haden continued to think to himself, about how the CS had breached the Devil's Archway and gone after the raiders. He hated the Coalition States and all their petty views on the world but he had to hand it to them. They were really getting serious about taking the fight to others.

As the Ley Line skiff, the Drifter, floated along on the Ley Line Haden absently counted the trees they passed by and watched Layla who stood at the foremost tip of the ship and was enjoying the air rushing through her hair.


Chapter Three
THE ESCAPE: CS DEPLOYABLE BUNKER


Olek grumbled, "It hasn't been a good day Max".

The Psi Goblin chuckled and said, "Could you ask for better company? I could. If Mags was here I'd be having a much more fun time locked in this box".

Max trailed off and they both thought about their dead friend.

Eventually Olek sat down against the wall; they had only been locked in for about twenty minutes. Olek looked over at Max and said, "We are not locked in. I can cast a Mystic Portal on the wall anytime we want to walk outside. The thing is I've just been thinking about our utterly flopped raid and where to go now that the Commander is dead".

Max nodded, "I'm in no hurry either. Thousand CS outside. Plus you said it, where to go?"

Several minutes past when suddenly the bunker tilted. Both raiders looked up at each other. The bunker shifted some more and slowly lifted up into the air.

"Bugger all Oli. I think they mean to keep us". Max smiled at the thought.

Olek carefully stood up and looked out the small window in the door. Below them hundreds of Coalition soldiers watched as the bunker lifted up over them. Several CS SAMAS and Sky Cycles circles about as an escort. Olek couldn't see from the window exactly what kind of vehicle was lifting the bunker but he imagined it must be a Death Head Transport.

Turning to face Max, Olek said, "We are going to want an escape plan now, before we get taken back to Chi Town and given to King Prosek as a birthday present".

"What's troubling you Oli?" Max asked.

Olek glanced up at the goblin. Distracted by thinking of the best way for both of them to escape from the bunker, Olek shrugged. It was easy enough for him the phase through the bunker but he needed a way for Max to be able to leave too.

Max continued, "Are you alright Oli?"

Sitting back Olek sighed, "Yea Max. I'm ok. Mags was like an older sister to me. I have spent pretty much my whole life with the Delvers. Even though the Commander was a hard SOB, he has taken care of me for a very long time. I guess I'm just trying to process the fact that our whole family is gone".

Max nodded, "Understandable. It's hard to move on; you don't have to be okay right now. We'll be okay. Once we are out of here we'll find somewhere to go".

Olek laid down on the floor of the metal bunker and placed his right hand on the metal. Concentrating he spoke a spell and then nodded to Max saying, "Be careful. Don't fall out Max".

The Goblin chuckled and said, "That would be the fast way out at least".

Leaning forward the Goblin looked out the now open portal Olek had cast on the metal flooring. A six foot circle of metal was missing from the Mystic Portal Olek had cast.

Looking out they saw the ground was easily four hundred feet below them. Max grinned widely as they watched the two pilots flying CS Sky Cycles about twenty feet below them. Neither CS pilot had looked up so neither of them knew there was a magically created hole in the bottom of the bunker directly above them.

Max said, "Do you remember that time on Phase World when we were being chased by those guards. We jumped off the walkway into a passing hover vehicle and escaped".


Olek grunted, "I recall that vehicle was six times as big as those Sky Cycles and you still almost fell to your death as you slid across the front window of the vehicle. I think you left a brown streak across the windshield as you were sliding on your butt towards your death".

Max stuck his tongue out at Olek and said, "That never happened. Sure I slid across the front window but I wasn't going to fall".

Olek grinned, "Still Max that thing was way bigger than those cycles".


Max stated, "I can do it. Can you?"

Olek looked back down at the two pilots flying below them.

"Sure I can. But wait till I give you the signal to go. I'll cast Time Warp Age in the pilot to the right. Then you can go okay".

Max jumped up and down excitedly and pulled out his black daggers.

Max said, "I'm ready. I will telekinetically leap at the guy on the right when you say go".

Olek spoke the spell and immediately the pilot reacted. He feebly tossed his hands up in the air and shook his head. The Sky Cycle started to drift downwards. Olek gave Max a thumbs up.

Max leapt out the portal from beneath the bunker, traveled through the air for about twenty feet and slammed into the CS pilot. By luck or great fortune he didn't miss the cycle. Using supernatural strength Max pushed the feeble aged, now temporarily old man, out of the seat. As the CS pilot plummeted towards the ground he screamed. Max took over control of the cycle and pointed it downward towards the ground. As the Goblin rocketed downwards the other pilot recovered from being surprised and gave chase.

Olek watched the cycle that Max was piloting as it rapidly approached the ground. Preparing another spell Olek waited until Max was about sixty feet from the ground, zig zagging the cycle about to avoid the laser blasts from his pursuer.

Olek reached into his Dimensional Pocket on the front of his black Sunaj armor and pulled out a hidden NE-4 Energy pistol with his right hand.

Olek noticed another CS Sky Cycle and pilot was now joining the other in giving chase to Max. Olek fired three consecutive shots down at the newcomer, only one blast actually hit the pilot. The desired effect was effective though as Olek saw the pilot bank the cycle upwards and fly straight at him. Ignoring the CS pilot advancing towards him Olek finished another spell, casting it on the pilot still chasing Max.

As Olek finished the spell of Sensory Deprivation he saw the CS pilot look around and then fly off towards a group of trees lower down. The pilot stepped off of the cycle midflight and fell into the trees and finally landed on the ground. If he lived the CS pilot wouldn't feel his injuries until the spell wore off.

Laughing Olek narrowly avoided being shot by the pilot who was now only about sixty feet below him. The blasts of the forward mounted lasers streaked up through the open mystic portal and struck the ceiling. Olek stepped back from the hole for a moment then looked out again seeing Max had landed near the crash site of the cycle the other pilot had abandoned midair.

Olek hoped he wouldn't need to cast many more spells today as he spoke the words to a teleport spell. Instantly he popped out of the bunker and arrived standing on the ground next to Max.

Max motioned for Olek to get on saying, "Hurry Oli. Several SAMAS are headed this way. Oh, and I told you I could do it".

Olek nodded and looked up at the advancing CS SAMAS power armors, there were six of them headed towards them. Olek jumped onto the back of the seat Max was sitting on and said, "Go Max!"

The four and a half foot tall Goblin leaned forward in the pilot seat stretching his legs and arms out as best he could to control the CS Sky Cycle and rocketed the cycle forward into the dense trees.

Olek held onto Max and looked back over his shoulder to watch the rapidly approaching six SAMAS. Olek frowned and thought about their option for escape. If they headed towards the distant Ley Line he had seen he could Phase away but Max wouldn't be able to that. Olek ran through a list of spells in his mind and held on as Max flew like a bat out of hell through the trees trying to be a hard to hit target. As several of the SAM's opened fire with their rail guns, the ground behind them and around them erupted in explosions.

"I need more power Max! Keep right and head for the Ley Line over that way!"
Olek yelled.

Max pitched the cycle right, nearly colliding with a tree, then lifted up higher over the tree line and punched the acceleration to top speed. The SAM's turned to follow. Several missiles sped towards them and Olek turned to his right, holding onto Max with his left hand. Pointing the big NE-4 back at the SAMAS behind them Olek unloaded the entire clip. He didn't hit any of the CS but some of them slowed a little.

As the missiles fell short of hitting the fleeing Goblin and Mage, Max yelled, "Awe great! Look, some kind of battle barge is skimming on the Ley Line. We either just found reinforcements or are about to be fighting two enemies!"

"Let's land on that barge! I've got a plan Max. Just get us on that ship’s deck okay!"

Olek prepared to cast a spell, once they were in the Ley Line he'd have enough energy to cast it, he hoped.
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Re: Rifts® Adventure Novella: The Brouhaha Crew.

Post by Lars » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:43 pm

Chapter Four
COMMON FOES: ABOARD THE DRIFTER


Layla could feel Haden's eyes on her backside. She resisted the temptation of turning around to glare at him. After all if she was going to wear the dragon skin outfit she had better be prepared for people to stare at her. It was annoying that she had lost the rest of her outfit back in the Caves of Brass, in the Federation of Magic. For months now she had paraded about in just the dragon leather two piece. It irritated her not having the rest of the outfit but that was another story she didn't wish to think about. On the one hand her attire distracted foes. On the other it was getting cooler now that winter was arriving.

Lord Dunscan could wear the outfit all he wanted she mused; after all he had paid for her conversion. She had gotten away with several magic items out of his chambers, including the sword she now carried. Dismissing the matter from her mind she enjoyed the cool air blowing through her long black hair. Leaning forward she looked down through the Ley Line the Drifter was skimming through. The ground was about sixty feet below. The Ley Line was about half a mile tall at this location.

Her enhanced senses picked up the sounds of approaching vehicles and fighting. Looking to the left she could just make out what appeared to be several CS power armor suits chasing a CS Sky Cycle.

Layla pulled the great broadsword out of its sheath across her back, holding the blade's hilt with both hands she pointed it towards the advancing vehicles.

Layla heard Haden and his two students react to seeing the incoming vehicles. They were definitely flying straight towards the barge. As the students sprinted for the side mounted techno wizard pulse canons in the left side of the barge Layla felt the skiff increase in speed.

The black blade of her stolen sword radiated an even darker black glow and as swirls of black smoke like fumes twisted about the blade she felt the sword call to her in her mind, "Souls for my thirst, give me souls mortal'.

Layla shook her head and tried to ignore the blade. She stood ready for whatever was to come next.

Gains, the older of Haden's students, called out, "The cycle is Coalition, but look, there is a goblin driving it!"

Mulligan stated, "Some human guy in black armor and cloak is passenger, he's shooting at the SAM's"

As The Corrupter and Swisher rushed up onto deck Haden commented, "The guy couldn't hit the broadside of a barn! It looks like he unloaded a full clip and missed every time".

Haden continued to steer the skiff as increased speed, flying through the Ley Line. Swisher leveled a massive rail gun out towards the incoming vehicles. The Corrupter pulled two techno wizard swords out and stood ready like Layla.

Haden called out, "Fire at will in those SAMAS but for now don't shoot the cycle unless it presents itself as a threat. Whooyah it's open season in the CS!"

The CS Sky Cycle abruptly landed on the deck of the skiff as those onboard opened fire on the advancing six SAMAS power armors.

As bullets, fire and lasers zipped back and forth between the skiff and the Coalition only Haden saw the two occupants and Layla flicker and disappear for about six seconds. The cycle tipped over on the deck, Layla, the human and goblin disappeared from sight the reappeared in about the same location. Haden saw Layla handing the human back his energy pistol.

***
As Max rapidly approached the battle barge and flew into the Ley Line Olek said, "Yes! Power! Hold on Max!"

Hitting the deck, Olek cast his spell, Temporary Time Hole, teleporting him, Max and the scantily clothed dark haired woman through space and time into a limbo. The limbo was a barren landscape of dry earth with an endless ocean of flowing white clouds across the sky, devoid of life for as far as one could see except Olek, Max and the female wearing the leather bikini.

Dropping to his knees, into the dust covered brown earth of the limbo dimension; Olek nearly fell forward onto his face from exhaustion. As it was he dropped the NE-4 energy pistol which clattered across the hard dirt and landed at Layla's feet.

Max held onto Olek's shoulder and said, "You ok Oli?"

Layla reached down with inhuman blinding speed and picked up the NE-4. She closed the distance between herself and Olek and held the huge barrel of the NE-4 to Max's head. She held the black blade down, pointed towards Olek.

Max laughed.

Olek grumbled, "Same team lady. Well, I hope so".

Layla didn't move, she wanted to cut them both down and could hear the black blade calling for her to do so. Taking her eyes off Olek she looked at Max saying, "Who are you? Where are we? Why is the Coalition chasing you?"

Max grinned and said, "Well my lady those are great questions. I have one for you, are you single?"

"What?" Exclaimed Layla more excitedly than she had meant to.

Olek looked up at the lithe and fit woman with her bright blue eyes and long black hair smiling.

"Gods not you too" Layla said.

Olek said, "There is little time before we return to your battle barge. Let me explain as quickly as I can. This is Maxrax Gyxvyx, or just Max. I'm Oleksandr Mads Volkov. Call me Olek. We request parley. The CS attacked us and we fled. Might I ask who you are?"

Layla continued to point the NE-4 at Max and when he started to bow to Layla she said, "No moving or I shoot".

"Good luck with that". Max smiled.

Olek stated, "I attuned my pistol to me. Only I can fire it".

Layla pulled the trigger of the NE-4. Both Max and Olek flinched. The energy pistol didn't fire.

Max grumbled, "That and the clip is empty".

Layla lowered the energy pistol and said, "My name is Layla. Are you from the Federation?"

Always wary of hunters looking for her Layla held the black blade towards Olek still.

Max said, "The last time I was in the Federation of Magic was about the time little Alastair came home and declared himself ruler. I skipped town after that megalomaniac returned".

Olek simply said, "No".

Max nodded, "Olek thinks he came from some place call Russia but he's been with me and the Delvers since he was five".

Layla looked at Olek, "Delvers?"

"The Delvers are, were, a dimensional raiding group. Far as I know Max and I are the sole survivors. The CS happened all over us".

Layla returned her broadsword to its sheath and said, "My name is Layla. Haden, a Techno Wizard, is in charge. You're in luck, he hates the Coalition. How long till we get back?"

Olek frowned and said, "Now".

***

Layla handed Olek his pistol back and looked around the skiff. The others were firing at the SAMAS and were out of her reach for now.

Jogging towards Haden she said to the wizard, "Common enemies. These two are no threat to us".

Haden nodded and watched as the CS turned about and speed off the direction they had come from.

Slowing the Drifter down he stayed at the wheel and called to the two newcomers, "Come here".

Olek reloaded the NE-4 and slid it into the front of the Sunaj armor. The gun disappeared into the dimensional pocket and he followed Max over to Haden.

Haden smiled, "There's no such thing as a free ride. You can join us, or walk the plank".

Max asked, "Do I get a cool pirate hat like you?"

Unsure if the goblin was joking or not Haden was mad from the chuckles Swisher made.

"No. Only I get a cool hat. What'll it be?"

Olek smiled, "We don't need hats. We do need a job, so sure we'll join".

Haden nodded, "Good. I don't actually have a plank so it's easier if you just join us. We are the Iron Guardsman. Our Commander has us lot out on a mission. Layla will fill you in. We will be at our destination in about an hour. When we get back to base the Commander can decide if you get to stay with us".

Max bowed flamboyantly as Olek said, "Great".



Chapter Five
MEGAVERSE ARMAMENTS: CHAOS AGENTS


Swisher and the Mystic Knight returned below deck. Max watched them and walked around the upper deck inspecting the battle barge. Acting impressed the goblin made excited sounds as he saw the different parts of the ship.

Haden absently watched the goblin for a while but returned to piloting the Drifter and talking to his two students of techno wizardry.

Olek sat down on the deck, up towards the front of the ship with his back to Haden and spoke to the female Dragon Juicer.

For her part Layla seemed uninterested in talking so Olek told her about the Delvers. Talking about their mission and arrival at the Devils Arch. Only half listening she grunted and nodded at what were the appropriate times she hoped.

Max slipped out of view and became invisible. Tip toeing across the deck he made his way quietly below deck as the full conversion cyborg and Mystic Knight had done.

Layla, as part of her abilities from the conversion, watched him go. She grinned at what must have been an inopportune time in Oleks story since the wizard shook his head saying, "Are you listening?"

Returning her gaze to the wizard Layla stated, "I can see the invisible you know".

Olek grunted, "I imagine you just watched Max slip below deck to further investigate. We are not here to cause you trouble I promise but Max has a thieves heart. He won't take anything before talking to me. I am sure he is just looking".

Layla shrugged. Sitting down across from Olek she said, "I don't care really. Swisher and the Corrupter are guarding the cash we are carting out to our destination. Gold, gems, that sort of thing. A lot. To buy weapons and armor for our commanders army. I seriously doubt your friend could carry it all. Took all day to load it on board. He can look all he wants".

Olek nodded, "So this Iron Guardsman company is doing what? What did we just 'sign up' for? Who are you buying from?"

Layla shrugged, "Some creature named Kreelo. I don't know. Don't care. Sonja told me to go with Haden and get the gear. So here I am. I was causing issues in camp I guess, so she sent we along as part of security for this trip".

Olek smiled, "Issues?"

Sighing Layla stated, "Guys fighting over who could ask me out. Stupid stuff. The rest of my dragon armor was lost. Until I meet a dragon out here I can slay I'm stuck wearing just this".

Olek briefly looked over her skimpy outfit saying, "Well, um, it is rather revealing. Slay a dragon you say casually. Remind me to not piss you off".

Smiling Olek chuckled.

Layla's smile was small and she nodded, "I know. Skimpy". She shrugged and adjusted the large sword on her back to allow her to sit more comfortably.

Sitting in silence Olek thought about what Layla had said. Kreelo.

Olek knew of the Megaveral Demon Lord and Megaverse Armaments. These Iron Guardsman were dealing with a nefarious creature in deed. Thoughts of just exactly what he had signed up for worried him. He'd wait and see what Max had to say, but they were lucky to have found the Iron Guardsman he thought. If they wanted to he and Max could still do the contract.

***

Ryan, the Hound of Kreelo, stepped out of the still open dimensional portal and looked around.

Followed by Stefan, a human Shifter, and Darious, a Chaos Demon Advocate, the three walked out of the Nexus and onto the green field of grass and trees.

Feeling alive and full of energy, the Crazie named Ryan, stood surveying the landscape. He'd missed Earth but not enough to quit his job with Kreelo. Having Supernatural Soul cast upon him regularly the Crazie was more powerful than any other of his kind he reflected. It felt good. Right. With an endless supply of slaves in Kreelo's domain to harvest from Ryan had been empowered for months now. Since killing innocent humans didn't bother him in the slightest he felt alive and happy.

They were early he thought. The buyers would be here, but not for another hour.

Ryan stood watching the blue sky overhead as the others came through the portal. Several Ogre's in body armor followed and spread out around the clearing at the base of the Nexus. Armed with Blood weapons infused with their bodies they watched for trouble. Darious transformed from his natural state into a pretty Elven male and sat upon a fallen tree stump to wait. Stefan the Blackhearted Shifter surveyed their surroundings and stood near Ryan. The last person through the portal was Annabel, a Blood Warrior conscripted to Kreelo. She moved as a warrior would, tactically sizing up the area and re-directed the Ogre's to better defensive locations. Finally she stood quietly near Ryan also. Ryan glanced at her, dressed in demonic skin armor carrying a large demon bow with a quiver of supernatural arrows she stood ready to fight.

Ryan hated her for being so cruel. She was always mean. To everyone. Ignoring her he talked with Stefan and waited for the buyers to arrive.

The portal leading to Kreelo's pocket dimension of caverns and the weapons manufacturing plant there remained open.

***

The Drifter flew through the interior of the Ley Line approaching its destination.

Max quietly spoke to Olek, careful how he worded his response since Layla sat across from Olek still.

"Kreelo huh? Well that's interesting" the goblin remarked.

Olek nodded and spoke to Layla, "You've never met Kreelo before?"

Layla tossed her long black hair over her shoulder and shrugged saying, "No".

Max sat next to Olek looking at Layla, "How long have you been a Dragon Juicer?"

Layla looked curiously at Max saying, "Two years why?"

Max nodded, "How long you been working for this Commander Sonja? Ever met her boss Rune"?

Layla cocked an eyebrow at Max, "For two guys who just arrived on Earth and in the Magic Zone, you know a lot about who's who. I left the City of Brass a month ago and found my way into employment with the Guardsman. I saw Rune from a distance a few times".

Olek stayed quiet and Max quietly said, "Do you know Rune is employed by a Demon Lord in Hades who is using Rune, your Commander Sonja, and the Guardsman to further Hades conquest of Earth? I have made it my lifelong ambition to not work for evil even if I do work with in the occupation of Raiding".

Layla stared at the goblin then looked at Olek, "If that's all true I assume you won't be staying with us long. Are you going to try and rob this barge"?

Max smiled and chuckled, "No. We won't steal the gold and gems below deck. That's never been our job".

Layla asked, "What is your job then".

Olek spoke up, "Harder to do now that the Coalition took out our group".


***

Ryan watched as the large Techno Wizard Ley Line Battle Barge came to rest, floating within the Ley Line about one hundred feet away from the nexus point and open portal to Kreelo's pocket dimension. Hovering motionless about sixty feet above the ground a platform lowered down towards those waiting on the ground.

Ryan glanced at the Ley Line Streaker attached to the underside of the larger battle barge then at the six individuals who rode the platform down. Ryan looked at each in turn. A male wearing a ridiculously large pirate hat and traditional Techno Wizard outfit, bombers jacket and cargo pants over metal armor stood with his hands resting on two drop holsters which held techno wizard fire pistols. That would be Haden, as described by Rune in the last communiqué.

A full conversion cyborg in heavy armor stood behind the Techno Wizard with a unlit cigar in his metal mouth. A large and undoubtedly heavy rail gun held upright with an ammo feed to a large backpack ammo drum in his back. The Borg was painted in dark forest colors.

Adjacent to the Borg was a Mystic Knight, obvious by his choice of attire. Demon Horned helm, heavy plate mixed with samurai like body armor. Mystic symbols etched across the metal parts of his armor. The man was almost unnaturally tall and broad shouldered. Carrying two magic blades, unsheathed but held low and at ease his entire body was encased in the mystical armor.

Ryan arched an eyebrow upon looking at the human female who wore next to nothing. She had an unrealistically large bastard sword strapped across her back. With tanned skin and very long black hair her leather skinned bikini left much to admire in regard to her figure. Strong, lithe and petite Ryan saw her stance was that of a warrior ready to pounce. He wondered if her choice in clothing was a distraction tactic or if she was just plain crazy.

Turning to take in the sight of the other two beings on the platform he saw that the one was most likely human although he hid his face under a black hooded cloak. He struck Ryan as a kind of spell caster who might deal in dark arts. Ryan recognized the armor as Sunaj in nature having dealt with plenty of their kind in the past while employed by Kreelo. He wasn't one of course since he wore no demonic helmet. Catching a glance at the man's face he saw he was young with graying long hair and his face, although young, looked hard and aged.

With a smile Ryan looked at the sixth member of the group. A Psi Goblin no doubt, and one he knew. Dressed in brown leather pants, boots and a lighter brown tunic the goblin carried two sheathed daggers which Ryan knew were made of magical obsidian metal. The goblin's distinctive bald head, pointy long ears and unkept goatee were the same as when Ryan had last seen the goblin two decades ago in Kreelo's caverns. Ryan saw the look of surprise on Maxrax's face when the short fellow recognized Ryan. Maxrax had known Ryan's life was extended via Blood Magic but probably didn't realize just how long one could live when they were willing to kill others on a daily basis.

Standing up Ryan smiled warmly at Maxrax and the others as they stepped off the platform.

"Well well well. Maxrax you are traveling with humans still I see. How did you get mixed up working for Rune"? Ryan smiled.

Haden turned to look at Max, "Friend of yours"?

Max shrugged, "Ryan isn't my enemy". Turning to face Ryan, Max nodded and said, "I am surprised to see you Ryan. How old are you now"?

Ryan shrugged, "Over a hundred I suppose. You're all here to buy from Kreelo I assume. You got the gold"?

Swisher stepped closer and said, "We got the cred's on board the barge, and I don't see our goods".

Ryan sniffed, "Trust. You need trust big guy". Pointing towards the still open Rift Ryan continued, "In there. Fly that monster big boat of yours in and we'll be in Kreelo's Dimensional Caves. The transfer will happen there".

Haden nodded, "Alright then. I will radio my two students to fly in and we'll follow you on foot. Lead on".

Ryan turned around and walked through the open portal. The others with him followed.

Haden said, "Let's go. Be watchful of tricks, I don't trust this Crazie".

Max stated, "Because he has to kill an innocent person every day to stay young and alive"?

Haden struggled, "I don't care about that. I just don't trust the guy because he's got to be all kinds of insane to be a hundred year old Crazie".

Layla looked at Haden as she walked. Max nodded at her and whispered, "Worse than Alistair, all of them".
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Re: Rifts® Adventure Novella: The Brouhaha Crew.

Post by Lars » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:16 pm

Chapter Six
CAVES OF DEATH AND CONSTRUCTION: KREELO'S DOMAIN


As the Battle Barge flew through the open dimensional portal, into the underground dimensional pocket universe, Olek felt the strain on reality as they made their way from Earth into the caves.

The place was massive. Techno Wizard lamps illuminated the cavern walls like miniature Suns casting light into the shadows. The sounds of construction and smells of death permeated the air.

Walking through the portal they all stepped onto hard rock and light dust. Floating overhead the barge moved forward into the gloom and smoke of machines at work. The tinge of sulfur could be smelled also. Hundreds of ill looking slaves moved about, either hard at work or beaten by horrifying Chaos Demons employed by Kreelo to keep the vast factory pumping out demonic weapons and vehicles.

The area they all stood in was crowded with cargo boxes and Ryan pointed to a large stack of boxes labeled weapons and armor. Haden used his radio to direct the barge to park, hover, over the area.

The members of the Iron Guardsman, Olek and Max stopped dead in their tracks when they noticed a monstrosity of a being standing by the crates.

Max muttered, "Kreelo".

Haden ran a finger through his collar and was sweating due to the stifling ambient heat and removed his coat laying it across a nearby crate. He adjusted his pirate hat and turned to face the big Chaos Demon with six arms and legs.

Haden bowed before Kreelo saying, "Magnificent Kreelo, Lord Rune wishes you well..."

Interrupting Haden, Max pointed at a white skinned human hanging by chains against the cave wall, "What did that guy do"?

Miffed Haden turned to look at the bloody man along with the others. Chained and dangling above the ground. A small pool of blood beneath him the man had a pained look on his face.

Kreelo spoke with a deep gravelly voice, "The fool went through so much to extract revenge on me. Keeping him around to remind the slaves who's in charge".

Kreelo moved across the ground on his many legs to stand near Max. Two of his arms pointed at the man. "Boreham! Can you hear me? Still got plans of revenge"?

Kreelo back handed the pale skinned man making him swing back and forth by the chains. Ryan laughed as did several close by Chaos demons.

As the large muscled man slowed and hung by the chains Olek saw his eyes were now closed.

Layla stated, "He's not breathing. You killed him".

Kreelo chuckled deeply and moved back to stand by the crates saying, "Ryan".

Ryan picked up a fist sized rock from the ground and hurtled it at the pale skinned man.

The impact caused the man to stir and he opened his eyes to stare hatefully at Kreelo.

Kreelo stated, "He gave his life once already. Sold his humanity to become a Cold Blooded. For power. To try and kill me. Stupid. You know of all the brouhahas in the Megaverse, humanity is the problem and the solution. I have something special for you humans. I am adding it to your master’s order, on credit. Rune can pay me later".

The rest turned to look at Kreelo. Max placed a hand on Oleks wrist saying, "Not yet Oli".

Olek looked down at his goblin friend and frowned. Moving closer to Kreelo with the others they watched as Kreelo used three hands to pull a tarp off an object.

Ryan faced the Iron Guardsman and stated, "Blood Pillars. Rune will very much want these. We acquired these four pillars from a rival of hers".

Kreelo's voice grated their ears again as he said, "Rune will pay me for these next time. A sum forty times that which you brought today".

Haden blinked and started to say something but Ryan spoke first, "Trust me she will want to pay the amount. Now start unloading your payment and get these crates on you ship".

Ryan pointed at a half dozen human sized Chaos demons and said, "Help them".

The creatures moved quickly to obey and Haden sighed and said, "Okay. Let's get this done".

The transfer of payment and the crates took nearly an hour. Olek found himself glancing at the Cold Blooded several times as he helped move stuff.

At some point Kreelo had left and Ryan kept the demon creatures and human slaves busy assisting the Iron Guardsman.


Chapter Seven
JUST A THING: A REPUTATION TO MAINTAIN


Layla set the last crate down onto the cargo bay floor of the Drifter and turned around to see Haden, Swisher and the Corrupter prying a crate open.

With the top removed from the crate they leaned over it to inspect the alien looking weapons with in the crate.

Swisher pick up a blood rifle and inspected it saying, "How's it work"?

Max, standing close by on the stairs out of the cargo area said, "You attach it to flesh and its powered by your blood".

Swisher put the weapon back down as Haden said, "Awesome".

As they all headed back to the upper deck Layla walked up the stairs past Max who she saw had turned invisible again. The others didn't notice him as they walked by the goblin.

Max winked at Layla as she moved up the stairs. Looking around she noticed that Olek was nowhere in sight.

Haden directed his two students to turn the barge about and head back towards the now re-opened Rift. Swisher and the Mystic Knight stood at the railed edge of the barge looking down at the caves. Layla glanced down at Ryan who had a giant smile on his face and was waving bye at them. Layla moved to the far side of the barge and looked over the side.

From here she could see the Cold Blooded man still chained to the cave wall. Layla thought about the times Lord Dunscan had chained her up before she became a Dragon Juicer. Anger burned in her mind as she wondered what Max was doing, and why she didn't report it to Haden. She had wanted a place to fight injustice. The Iron Guardsman, she had hoped, would provide her such a place. As it was turning out that prospect was going to end soon.

Layla reflected on her anger. She really was mad. Slowly as the Drifter moved away from the cave cargo area towards the open portal and she realized her anger was born out of shame. Layla moved along the railed side of the barge to stand at the rear of the ship looking out towards the chained man.

She nearly cried out when she saw Olek crouching down on the ground beneath the pale man. Excitement filled her and she felt the rush of dragons blood scream through her body in preparation for action. As the front end of the barge pushed through the portal Layla grinned and watched Olek. Sensing the goblins arrival behind her, Layla kept watching Olek and said, "You knew he would save the Cold Blooded didn't you? How are they going to get out of there? If Olek doesn't hurry it'll be too late. How can we help him"?

Standing next to her, still invisible, Max said, "Meet me in the little Battle Streaker attached below the Drifter if you want to help. Olek will be fine trust me. Earlier when we were all loading the barge Olek created a dimensional envelope inside of the Streaker's cargo hold. We moved the blood pillars into the envelope".

Layla asked, "A envelope"?

Max nodded, "Temporal Mage thing. When our Commander was hired it was to stop Hell Lord Rune from completing her Hell Pit. Although things really didn't go at all how the Delvers had planned, this is exactly what needs to be done. The likely hood of Rune getting her hands on another set of pillars this year are slim".

Layla continued to watch as Olek used one of his magic swords to cut the Cold Blooded down. Once the man dropped into his puddle of blood Olek reached out and placed his right hand in the man's shoulder. Both the Cold Blooded and Olek disappeared.

Max said, "Hurry if you're coming. They are already in the Streaker".

Max ran towards the lower deck and Layla glanced at the others and followed the goblin careful to not be noticed.

Once she opened the little Streaker's passenger compartment Layla noticed that the barge had left the Rift, saw it close, and saw they were back on Earth. Stepping inside the passenger compartment she saw Max, no longer invisible, sitting in the pilot seat. Both the pale man and Olek were inside also.

Olek glanced up at Layla and said, "I'm glad you're with us. Welcome to the Brouhaha Crew, Inter Dimensional raiders and rescue team".

Boreham turned to look at the others and said, "Thank you".

Max grinned saying, "Was just a thing".

Olek smiled and said, "We may be the last of our group but we had a reputation to maintain".

Layla smirked saying, "And a paycheck to get".

Max laughed and said, "That's the other thing".

As the large Ley Line barge sped up along the Ley Line, headed back towards the magic zone and Rune's camp, the goblin flipped a switch and the Streaker detached from the barge.

Dropping downward Max kicked the Battle Streaker into top speed and raced away from the barge at the insane speed of around 600 mph.

As they sped off Layla asked, "Our plan now"?

Olek smiled, "Head down the line for a while to get some distance from Haden and crew. Then we get off the line and head west. This thing won't be nearly as fast off a Ley Line but we need to head toward the Oberlin Nexus Hub to head home".

Layla nodded sitting down in a passenger seat and said, "I've no idea where you're talking about. Oberlin? Where is home"?

Olek said, "The Scorched Lands. Different dimension. We've got a base there. Need to access it via a nexus point and Oberlin is one out on the west plains".

Boreham spoke, "It's near Kansas and Nebraska. Passed through that area long time ago when I was with the 1st Calvary".

Layla shrugged, "Alright then. Take me to your home...base".

Olek grinned.


Epilogue
110 P.A. Near the Kansas-Nebraska border.
OBERLIN NEXUS HUB: HOMEWARD BOUND


The four of them, Max, Olek, Layla and Boreham, flew in silence. The stolen combat-ready Techno Wizard Ley Line Streaker was silent too. Powered by psychic energy the airship sped along quiet as a mouse.

In the darkness of night the airship was hard to see, being painted in a flat non-reflective black paint. A few times the three tired passengers were woken up by the goblin giggling. After the first time Olek had asked Max what was so funny and Max saying they had flown over some adventurers who didn't even notice, the others ignored Max's following giggles.

Finally after many hours of broken sleep it was Boreham who asked, "Are you dropping me off somewhere"?

Layla responded, "Do you want us to"?

Olek yawned then said, "Look guys. I am not holding you captive, nor could I if I wanted to. Boreham, you and Layla could tear me in half if you wanted. You want out. Cool".

Max called back to the others, "Or! If you wanted to, you could join us"!

Olek nodded.

Layla asked, "Join you in what"?

Olek smiled, "Max and I have been in the dimensional raiding game my whole life. The Delvers might all be dead but there are a handful who were left guarding our base"

Max call out, "Some of our group might have escaped the CS and returned to the base too".

Olek nodded, "Maybe. We were hired to do a job. We might have started out as three hundred and be down to just us now but we have a payday coming to us. Our job was to disrupt Hell Lord Rune in her attempt to build a Hell Pit. We did that. Not how our Commander planned. But we did it. We have the proof too. Those Hell Pillars are worth a lot to our employers".

Layla said, "Your employers going to use them"?

Olek shook his head no, "Seriously doubt that. All we need to do is make it safely to the Oberlin Nexus Hub and I'll open a portal to our base back in the Scorched Lands and we hole up there and call the guys who hired us. Get paid. Take stock of what we have left. Buy what we need. Start over. Rename our group out of respect to the Commander from Delvers to Brouhaha. Hire out as inter dimensional mercenaries for hire. Pick the jobs we want. Easy".

Layla tilted her head back and closed her eyes saying, "Who's the boss of this new group"?

Max pointed back at Olek and said, "Not it. Olek was the right hand man to the Commander".

Boreham nodded, "As long as I get a say on what jobs I am doing, I'm in. Not going to kill innocents".

Olek nodded, "None of us are. We four will decide together what jobs we do, okay"?

Layla nodded.

Boreham said, "Copy that Commander Volkov".

Max giggled, "Guess what guys, two things. One, I see the Oberlin Nexus. Two, it's surrounded by CS soldiers. Orders Commander Volkov"?


FIN of Part One, part Two will post soon.
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Re: Rifts® Adventure Novella: The Brouhaha Crew. P 1& 2 Fan Fiction for Rifts.

Post by Lars » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:19 pm

Rifts® Adventure Novellas: Brouhaha Crew.

Part Two: Into the Scorched Lands

By Dan Frederick

"There is a fifth dimension, beyond the reach of even us Temporal Raiders. It is a dimension as vast as space and is the middle ground between time and untime, the útími, we refer to it as the Brobdingnagian, as it is both gigantic and not."
- Temporal Raider Gregor Grlyss (Deceased).

Prologue
The Brobdingnagian


Oleksandr Mads Volkov, human Temporal Rifter, and Maxrax Gyxvyx the Psi Goblin stood in the sifting black and hot sand of the Vast. The Vast, often called the Seas of Black, or the sands of lost souls, covered almost the entire planet of Scorch. With six main city states, dozens of outpost, towns and bases scattered across the Scorched Lands the old Delvers base was counted amongst the bases out in the black sands.

Olek had meant to dimensionally teleport them closer to the old Delvers base, in fact he had done the trip so many times he was sure they would arrive within feet of the base. Behind Olek and Max two others waited silently as they looked out at the seemingly endless Vast.

Layla and Boreham were still adjusting to the red sun and slightly higher gravity of the Scorched Lands. Having just arrived a few minutes ago via a Rift in Kansas, from Earth, from a nexus point called the Oberlin Nexus Hub. They had dimensionally teleported through the Rift and landed the Ley Line Streaker. The Airship was powered by Ley Lines or magic and they had dubbed it the 'Nil Admirari' or simply the Nil. The stolen Techno Wizard Airship had enabled their escape from Earth and now they all stood in the black sand of the Scorched Lands. The old Delvers base no where in sight.

Max leaned closer to Olek and whispered, "Um, this is quite the bugger".

Squatting down, Olek ran his fingers through the fine black sand and considered their situation. His stomach wouldn't stop rolling and he felt ill. Glancing over at his life long Goblin friend Olek nodded and said, "I'm not sure what's happened Max. I feel like this is the right spot. Just wrong some how. The Obsidian Mountains are behind us and to our right was they should be but, I can't shake the feeling the base should be right here. I mean I can see the top of the Dolmens we use when raiding beyond that hill".

Max looked around then said, "Was it destroyed maybe? There were Coalition soldiers on this side of the St. Louis arch".

Olek stood up brushing the sand off his hands onto his pants. Holding up his right hand to motion Max to stay put Olek walked several feet forward and stopped.

Turning around suddenly Olek yelled, "Get back in the Streaker! Wrong time"!

Both Layla and Boreham had no idea what he meant but both warriors turned to run back to the Airship.

Max's eyes opened wide and he mumbled, "Brobdingnagian"?

Olek growled, "I don't know Max but we are definitely in the útími. This isn't our time. We need to get out of here. The Dolmens, get the Streaker to the Dolmens".

Olek was the last to climb aboard the Streaker and into the passenger compartment. Max lifted the airship upward and flew towards the hill before the Dolmens. As the airship crested the hill, pointed down at the Dolmens both Olek and Max grumbled.

"What"? Asked Boreham, "Fill us in guys".

Olek stared at the partially completed Dolmens. Instead of being laid out in the usual pattern they were haphazardly standing in the black sand.

Layla said, "Look. Over there. People".

The others looked out the right window of the airship at a dozen humanoid's dressed in black robes and cloth wound around them.

As the airship advanced in those assembled around the unfinished Dolmens Max exclaimed, "What the! I lost control of the Streaker".

Outside they saw one of the dark skinned humans holding his hand out towards them. As he lowered his hand and pointed at the ground the airship landed. Max gave up trying to fly the ship and looked out at the people gathering around the front of the Nil.

Olek saw that there were six dark skinned humans, all dressed alike in black robes and seven taller energy beings he recognized as Temporal Raiders. None of them seemed to have weapons. Granted the one had just forced them to land.

Max looked at Olek as Olek said, "Seven Raiders in the same place at once. Incredible".

Layla stated, "I guess they want to talk". Standing up she adjusted her leather bikini and grabbed her large black sword up and headed to the passenger compartment exit.

Boreham had no weapons and was dressed in only a tattered pair of pants. He followed Layla.

Max patted his two short daggers and nodded at Olek, "After you Commander".

Olek sighed and went to stand in the black sand again with the others, still feeling ill.

The thirteen robed individuals watched as Olek approached and waved to them.

Stepping forward an older man pulled his hood back from his face and smiled at them.

The man stated, "Gothan dag! Hvathan kemr thu"?

Olek tilted his head looking at the man then shrugged.

The man frowned then continued, obviously in a different language, "Mporo na sas voythyso"?

Olek shook his head not understanding.

Max laughed, "A dialect of Greek".

Olek looked at Max and raised an eyebrow saying, "You speak Greek"?

Max shrugged, "Been a long time".

Stepping closer to the strange man Max said, "Onomazome Maxrax. Kryazome Ena ghiatro".

The man looked concerned and reached into his black robes. He held up the largest Bloodstone Olek had ever seen in the Scorched Lands. Attached to a silver chain the yellow and red stone was the size of a fist. Olek had never seen a Bloodstone larger than his finger tip before. The thing was worth a fortune.

Holding the stone the man spoke again, this time they all understood, "You need a Doctor Max? We should now be able to all understand each other since I am using the Lifestone".

Olek looked at Max who was frowning then back at the black robed man and shook his head no.

One of the Temporal Raiders stepped closer to Olek and Olek took a step back.

The nine foot talk energy being held his hands up non threateningly and said, "I won't hurt you. I am a Temporal Knight".

Olek reflected that the Raider said, Knight, in a way that somehow meant good guy.

Olek gave a dry smile and replied, "I grew up as an adept to a Temporal Raider. I know your kind better than to think I can trust you. When are we"?

The older robed man looked at the Raider with a questioning look in his face and said, "Ulri"?

The Temporal Raider named Ulri said, "I can feel these four are from our future Gogath". Turning to look them over Ulri stated, "You are útími. I'm sure you realize that Time Mage".

Olek just nodded.

Ulri continued, "I am no Raider, Time Mage, I am a Temporal Knight. My kind are all Knights of Time and Space. You don't belong in this time. Did something happen when you were casting a spell"?

Max, Layla and Boreham looked at Olek who just shrugged again. Glancing around at the other six Temporal Knights Olek stated, "I opened a dimensional portal on Earth to here in the Scorched Lands. We were running from some CS soldiers. I think they, forced, a Shifter to mess with my spell as we flew through the portal".

Ulri nodded, "Could explain your arrival in the right place but wrong time. Scorched Lands? Here you mean? This planet has a different name right now but if you are from far in the future then I suppose Scorched Lands is a fitting name. We are building the Dolmens to allow Gogath and his people to flee this dying planet. It is still fifteen to twenty thousand years away but the profits foretell of the red sun exploding. Even more dangerous is the unearthing if Vazathoth. Gogath's people have mined too deep and awakened the Intelligence. With Gogath's cousins disappearing from their great island city in another dimension recently we are leaving this world to search for them".

Max scoffed, "I know when we are". The Goblin moved to stand closer to Olek and he said, "We are about ten thousand years off course".

Ulri tapped his fingers on the side of his leg and nodded, "Once we finish the Dolmens we are leaving but if you need our assistance in returning to your time, we are of course willing to help".

Olek thought about it then pointed at the Bloodstone and said, "If I had one of those I could use it to cast a spell to move us through time".

Gogath nodded, "That we can do. We have literally hundreds of the Lifestones available".

Oleks jaw dropped as Ulri said, "I imagine the Lifestones must be more rare in your time. The Great Intelligence that infused them, that slept in the center of the world, was vanquished by the Temporal Knights. Unfortunately it was only one of many such intelligences that sleep deep below the surface".

Olek nodded and said, "They are rare. Only Bloodstone Mages can refill them and they are hard to find any bigger than my finger tip. Anyone can use them as a magic fuel battery but only Bloodstone Mages can use them to cast a variety of spells".

Gogath stated, "If you can use this Lifestone, or Bloodstone as you call it, then you are welcome to it".

Olek said, "Thank you".

Max grinned, wiggled his long ears and said, "If you have more, um, I could use one too. You know, to um, power our airship".

Olek saw Ulri pull another large Bloodstone out of a dimensional pocket and hold it up, "I have plenty my green friend. You may have this one. Be wary future friends, if your companions in the future are refilling these then they likely are opening a connection to one of the Intelligences below".

Max took the large Bloodstone with a huge grin on his Goblin face and said, "I'll pass your words on. Thanks".

Gogath said, "Go in Peace friends".

Ulri nodded as Max, Layla and Boreham moved towards the Nil to board her.

Olek stood there a moment longer until his group was aboard then turned to look at Ulri.

"Something you want to ask"? the Temporal Knight said to Olek.

Olek said, "What's your full name Ulri"?

The Temporal Knight tilted his head a little, and tapped his fingers on the side of his leg, it was a mannerism Olek knew.

Ulri made a sighing sound, "You know me in your future don't you? My name is Lord Ulrigregor Grlyss, Temporal Knight".

Olek said, "Oleksandr Volkov, Temporal Rifter and adept of Commander Grlyss. I do have questions, but you are the wrong you to ask. Thank you for everything Commander. Good bye".

Olek turned and walked across the black sand to the Nil.
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Re: Rifts® Adventure Novella: The Brouhaha Crew. P 1& 2 Fan Fiction for Rifts.

Post by Lars » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:28 pm

Chapter One
The Old Delvers


Olek burned all the stored energy out of the Bloodstone and let the dust fall between his fingers. He cast the spell, Time Warp through Space and Time and had a full personal reserve of energy when done.

He only moved them slightly through space, around 100 feet, but significantly further through time.

Sitting in the passenger area of the airship he only had a few moments to reflect that he wished he could ask Commander Grlyss some questions. Temporal Knights indeed. The Commander was a Raider who had formed the Delvers into a dimensional raiding group and they had been robbing, stealing and taking on missions Oleks whole life. Grlyss was dead now. No answers would be coming.

The four of them looked out the forward window of the Nil and Max pointed to the black metal base. Both Layla and Boreham stood up and leaned forward to see it. The Delver base wasn't much larger than a few tanks would be parked next to each other. Not above ground anyway. Inside the bar was much larger as it extended below ground.

The rear of the Nil shook from an impact and they all yelled in surprise.

"Now what" yelped Layla, "This world is incredibly dangerous for a safe haven from the CS and Haden's crew".

Max spun the Streaker around to face the direction from which they had been hit.

Boreham laughed, "You gotta be kidding me. The Coalition is attacking us in a different dimension"!

Olek looked over at Layla and Boreham and said, "Have to explain fully later. These guys are trapped here in the Scorched Lands. Max stop shooting at those SAMAS and get us into the base".

Spinning around again Max shot the airship straight towards the Delvers base coming up just over it and hovering as Olek popped the passenger compartment open, leaned out and blinked from inside the Nil to standing on top of the metal base. Reaching down Olek keyed in the security code to open the top hanger bay doors of the base.

As the big metal doors lifted outwards Max lowered the Nil into the hanger as the airship took several hits from the rail guns the SAMAS pilots were firing down at it. Olek stepped forward and reappeared in the hanger rushing over to hit the close button as the Nil completely lowered into the base.

Across the loud speakers inside the hanger bay a voice yelled, "I got it, you take cover Oleksandr".

Once the hanger was closed Max, Layla and Boreham stepped out of the airship and stood next to Olek as the floor lowered deeper into the ground.

Max moved closer to Olek and quietly said, "Was it her? Truly"?

Olek tried to remain calm but a big grin spread across his face and he nodded.

Max sighed a sigh of relief and said, "Thank goodness. Next time I get stuck in a huge cargo container I am taking Magitha with me"!

Several hours later the four regrouped in the main tactical room of the Delvers base with several other members of the Delvers Raiding group.

After peeling Max off her side the tall Staphra female Warlord named Magitha said, "Seriously Maxrax you've gone from friendly hug to sexual harassment. I'm glad to see you too, you slippery Goblin".

Olek smiled and dropped into a chair. Looking at Layla and Boreham he said, "Make yourselves at home. Have a seat".

For his part, Boreham looked fresher, magically healed and now dressed in silver plate armor from the waist down. For an undead looking guy he seemed healthy enough now. Bare chested with his pale skin and piercing blue eyes he looked freighting. Boreham had taken a vibro Scythe from the armory too. Olek noted the Cold Blooded man now had two NE-4 Plasma Pistols attached to either side of his body in drop holsters and a Techno Wizard spear of some kind across his back. Olek was glad his NE-4 was in a D-Pocket on his chest, the pistol was huge and unwieldy heavy.

Olek watched Layla sit down in a chair across the table from him. She too had taken advantage of cleaning up. Her long black hair was now braided down her back, held in place by a decorative amulet. Olek was unaware of what the amulet was capable of since the armory was so stocked with weapons and armor it would likely take a week to steal it all. Still dressed in just her dragon skin leather bikini she drew the eye of several others in the room. Olek had given her a thin leather belt with a D-Pocket built into the side of it. Layla had her massive sword stuck down into the pocket with just the hilt poking out, the blade looked like it was gone to the untrained eye although Olek was able to see it shoved into another dimension.

Max jumped onto a chair and sat down cross legged. His custom plate and magic cloth armor was his second set which Olek knew the Goblin had retrieved from his personal quarters.

Olek hasn't changed out of his Sunaj plate chest piece or faded Synth-Silk armored jeans. He had removed his hooded cloak long enough to cast Cleanse on it then put it back on. He had spent the last few hours talking to Mags.

Mags had listened to Olek describe how they had messed with Kreelo and Hell Lord Rune, stealing the Hell Pit Pillars which were still aboard the Nil inside a D-Envelope. She nodded at the end and told Olek that one of their priorities was to deliver the pillars to the Sunaj in the city state of Blackwell so they could be paid. Olek asked Mags about the CS outside and how she had escaped.

Mags kept her story short as she tended to do. Just laying out facts with no emotion. She had seen the Commander die. Fled back to the Scorched Lands. Fought with the CS on this side of the portal. Made it back to the base and been monitoring the CS radio communications. Mags said that it sounded like a dozen SAMAS, a score of CS Sky Cycles and a half dozen non CS armored special operatives had stayed on this side of the portal. The CS also had an APC with them and a total of about thirty troops including the ones who were using non CS gear. Mags said it sounded like not all of them were supposed to be on this side, off Earth. Their leader was a man named, Drust or Zero, who didn't use rank but was obviously in charge. Mags told Olek that the CS had sent out scouts and one had located the city state of Scorch. They were all about to head towards Scorch when Olek and company had arrived.

"So", Magitha said, "Here we all are. Freshened up, armed and healed. Maxrax has informed me that Commander Oleksandr is the Delvers new Commander. Besides me, you four, those in this room, we are at a troop strength of twenty two now. Maxrax said our new raiding groups is called, Brouhaha. I'll let Olek explain that one. We need to decide our next action".

Olek noticed that when it was just himself and Mags in the room she was definitely in charge. In front of the others she was suggesting he spell out what needed to be done. Mags had told him earlier what needed to be done. Olek tried to not frown outwardly and he reflected that Mags should be Commander not him. He honestly had no desire to run the group, either when it was three hundred strong or now as just twenty two.

Standing up Olek felt like a fraud as he walked back and forth in front of those assembled in the room. He felt unsure now that Commander Grlyss was gone. He had been his right hand, he did know how to put orders into place but hadn't ever had to come up with orders on his own. Olek stopped and faced the others.

"Did you know that Commander Grlyss had something like ten thousand years experience. No wonder he was so sure of himself. His full name was Ulrigregor Grlyss, before he was a Temporal Raider he was something called a Temporal Knight".

Olek continued, "Ultimately if we are going to continue being raiders and doing the same types of jobs as we did in the past we are going to need more troops. Troops need pay. Max and I along with Layla and Boreham managed to pull off, in a round about way, our last mission. Now we have cargo that needs to be delivered to our Sunaj friends in Blackwell".

Olek glanced at Mags who gave him one of her rare smiles.

Olek looked back at the others knowing his words were being transmitted to those elsewhere in the base too, "After this payday I need to know from each of you two things. One are you staying on or headed out on your own. Two, if you stay are you willing to work for me as Commander. That's it for now. Magitha is in charge here and acting Commander until I return with our pay. I'll take Maxrax, Layla and Boreham with me".

Olek nodded at Mags and walked out of the room.


Chapter Two
CS Wayfarer Operations


Bereft ranking Special Forces commander, Captain Kevin Frost and ranking Wayfarer Operator Drustin Simmons, call sign Zero, led the eleven SAMAS, twelve SF CS Sky Cycles and thirty three SF troops inside the Mark V APC towards the city state of Scorch in the dark distance. Five Wayfarer operatives and Wayfarer infiltrators were flying perimeter in Northern Gun Sky King hover cycles. One of those operators was, unknown to the SF troops, a Vanguard Ley Line Rifter named Matt Clements.

Drust and Frost were both piloting two of the twelve CS Sky Cycles. As the troops advanced on the city state of Scorch Captain Frost asked Drust over the radio, "Hey Zero, what's the plan once we get close enough to the stone walled city? Fly right in, or what"?

Drust smirked, "No Captain", he knew the SF Captain was using an open channel that the rest of the CS troops could hear, "We stop outside a good distance away, before we are seen. Look I know you SF boys were not supposed to be trapped on this side of the portal. We will do whatever it takes to get you all home. Until then I need you guys to stay locked on and remain calm. This isn't our first time off Earth and we will get you back home eventually".

"Copy that...Sir" the SF Captain stated.

Drust flipped off the radio and sighed. Smith had flown out ahead to scout out the area yesterday and returned to report to Drust that there was a city of sorts out in the black sands beyond the black mountains. They would arrive there later today and Drust needed to figure out his Wayfarer teams plan. Having the SF guys along complicated things. Originally the Wayfarer team was supposed to follow the dimensional raiders back to their base and attack them there. That had proven to be harder than anticipated since the base was well armed and armored. If he was going to follow through on destroying the base he would need more troops or better weapons.

The secondary objective, the one he was working in now, was to establish a information gathering mission. For whatever reason intelligence hasn't thought the raiders base would be on a planet. Drust was determined to learn what he could of the world and get the SF guys home with that news. Depending on what he learned, would decide if the Wayfarer team stayed or went back to Earth.

Right now Drust wanted to see what the city was like. Allies or foes. Could he use the locals or were they inhuman D-Bees that needed to be slain. He needed supplies for the long haul and his questions answered. If they had to Matt could try Rifting them all back to Earth, Drust had seen the dark Ley Lines out on the horizon so the hypothetically Matt should be able to open a Rift.

As the city state grew larger in their view Drust called over the radio for the CS troops to hold position and set up defenses. As the Special Forces troops did what they do best Drust called his Wayfarer team over to his location. Gathering around Drust each member of Havoc Cell removed their helmets and listened to Drust's instructions.

Drust looked at each of them. The CS Juicer, Military Specialist, Ranger, CS Seal and the EOD expert. Matt stood with them too. All new to the program but none of them were new to being either off world or deep in enemy territory. The six of them had been working together for about five months now. Matt had only recently in the last month been assigned to them. It still irked Drust, every time he sensed Matt he felt hungry. Drust ran his gloved hand across his pale bald head and wiped dust from his face.

Drust said, "Worst case scenario Matt Rifts us home. You all saw the Ley Lines. I can't see them from here but I am sure Matt can sense them as I do. Having the Special Forces troops here both complicates things but also is handy. I want Matt, Stone and I inside that city by nightfall. The rest of you are on babysitting duty here with the SF. Not Smith though, need you to do more scouting. See what's around then be back here in a few days".

The others nodded.

Matt turned to face back the way they had come from. Drust felt it. Magic users or supernatural were closing in on them.

Drust pointed at Stone, the former CS Seal, "Stone go notify the SF Captain that we have incoming. Supernatural and or mages".

Stone put his helmet on and sped towards the other CS as Drust continued, "Look, flying ships! They look like old decrepit galleons".

Smith nodded placing his helmet on as two SF SAMAS power armor suits screamed passed him and said, "Except them suckers are not floating along a river, they're flying. Well that is until those two SF SAM's tear them up".

The others grinned and watched as the two SAMAS closed in on the old looking flying ship. This grins disappeared when several other flying ships spread out in a V formation around the lead ship. They had been hidden behind the larger lead ship.

Using their multi optic telescoping vision in their helmets they were able to see that there were now seven ships closing with the two SAMAS.

"Look", said Smith when a man standing on the deck of one of the smaller ships appeared, raised his hands high and suddenly a gout of flames erupted over his head and streaked towards the lead SAM.

The SAMAS pilot attempted to move out of the way of the flames but was momentarily engulfed by them.

As the other SAMAS opened fire at the man, fiery wings erupted from his back and he lifted up into the air. Airborne the Mage pointed at the SAMAS that had fired at him which erupted into spontaneous combustion.

As the other airships passed the SAMAS's several more mages jumped up into the air from several ships with wings of flames and circled the SAM's raining down fire bolts and engulfing the SAMAS in clouds of smoke.

Drust said, "Damn. Let's go"!

The Wayfarer agents and the rest of the Special Forces team quickly flew towards the seven airships.

Several of the flying mages, using flaming wings, whipped fiery whips out into the cloud of smoke striking the SAM's.

Drust called over the radio to Frost, "I don't think these guys are Warlocks. They are some new kind of Pyromancer, be careful".

Frost didn't respond and flew his own CS Sky Cycle towards the airships, which looked like they were made of a dark color wood but were taking a lot of hits for normal wood.

Several old looking canons fired from the decks of the airships out towards the CS soldiers. Ashland fire rained down. CS rail guns burst. Drust lifted higher up for a better view as he fired down into the men in the deck of the first larger ship. Seeing a black flag flying in the ship he recognized the old Jolly Roger image and shook his head in wonder, Pirates.

Airship Pirates. Looking back towards the CS APC he saw it was headed across the black sand and rocks towards the fire fight. Drust was a very at the fact that they had already lost two SAMAS and two Sky Cycles, there were just too many air pirates for their currant numbers and Drust had things he wanted to accomplish before he lost all the CS Special Forces guys.

Looking down into the deck of the lead ship Drust saw a larger than life looking guy wearing heavy armor standing there with his hands in his hips and a big ass grin on his face. Drust fired his forward mounted rail gun at the guy and saw the bullets ricochet off an invisible armor surrounding the man.

Frowning Drust pulled back and flew towards the CS APC calling over the radio, "Another day gents! Fall back! We will kill these suckers another time. For now head towards the city".

Frost grumbled over the radio, "As long as we get another chance later! I think you're right, fall back SF"!

Once the CS troops and Wayfarer members were closer to the city Drust noticed that the airship pirates turned away. Slowing to hover in the cycle Drust leaned forward over the cycles handlebars and watched the ships pass by.

Drust was joined by Frost as the ships flew off into the distance.

Drust looked over at Frost and said, "Mission parameters, secure a base of operations, in that city, set up shop there then we get you SF home".

Frost nodded and moved off towards the other SF troops. The Wayfarer team followed them.
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Re: Rifts® Adventure Novella: The Brouhaha Crew. P 1& 2 Fan Fiction for Rifts.

Post by Lars » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:28 pm

Chapter Three
Blackwell


The Nil Admirari hovered in place, in a long line of airships, awaiting entry to Blackwell. The majority of airships in the line waiting to be inspected by Blackwell security forces were built of black metals, mined here in the Scorched Lands, and looked more old fashioned and gothic than the sleek Ley Line Streaker. Although there were several Naruni designed ships and other rare off world ships too. Access to the city state was more often than not done so by airships which had traveled across the Scorched Lands to come and trade and sell their goods. Several less used ground entry points where scattered around the base of the high black metal walls which surrounded the city state.

As they waited, Maxrax talked to Layla and Boreham, "The city state of Blackwell is the largest city in the Scorched Lands. Unlike other city states on Scorch which have either corporate leadership or dictators, Blackwell is ruled over by an elected council. Never mind that those elected council persons have been ruling for decades. The two main things that made the city state the richest and largest on the planet is the dimensional bizarre and the massive export of local mined minerals and rare gems to Phase World".

Boreham nodded and was eager to hear more. He had never been off Earth before, other than while held prisoner by Kreelo. Boreham asked Max, "What's Phase World"?

Layla glanced around and saw Olek sitting in the rear of the passenger area. Standing up she moved aft to sit across from him.

Olek continued to stare at the floor but quietly said, "Hello Layla. You doing ok? I'm sure this is all pretty crazy for you, traveling to a new world. Sometimes I forget, I've been to more worlds and dimensions than I even remember".

The thin muscled woman shrugged, "I was thinking I might buy something's to wear while here. That a possibility? I've no credits on me and even though it's been a pretty constant warm day here I think I should try to blend in a little more".

Olek grinned, "Yeah, Blackwell has a lot of things to sell. It's the biggest dimensional trade market in Scorch. I'm sure we can find you something. As far as credits goes, the UTC, uh, universal trade credit is used here. I can easily advance you however much you need. Once we get paid for the Pillars we'll have plenty of UTC. You get a cut since you helped us".

Layla smiled her thanks and said, "This world is pretty crazy. Max has been a regular travel guide pointing out everything we pass by. Look down there, Daggerwood Trees, don't go near them they eat people. Oh, a herd of Leatherhides, those big mothers are hunted for their super strong leather hides to be made into armor. Very informative and talkative Goblin".

Olek chuckled, "He loves it here. He told me he spent the last hundred years here before joining Grlyss. There's a lot of interesting things here, dangerous things too".

Layla nodded, "Used to dangers having spent my whole life in the Magic Zone. I was born in Shadowville and had dreamed of becoming a Shifter like my brothers. That changed when a dragon from the shattered remains of Tolkeen passed through town killing my brothers. As horrible as Alistair is he funded my conversion and let me hunt down that dragon. If I'm going to be here a while you might as well full me in on the place".

Olek thought for a moment then said, "Well basically the Scorched Lands is a planet about half the size of Earth, located in a big Galaxy. Black rock and sand under an angry red sky describes the world. Most cities are by the Obsidian Mountains due to the greatest access to minerals, rock and metal deposits. Metal working in Blackwell produces a super strong metal for armor. Synth-Silk is very light and strong, my shirt is made of it, it's like super thin light armor. A great deal of trade goes on between Scorch and Phase World. Phase World has 1280 gates to everywhere. Scorch has four that are almost always open the Center on Phase World. The Dolmens across the planet can do inter dimensional travel if you know how but most use them to get in and out of the four main Dolmen city states. Well not Dolm since its enslaved by the Naruni".

Olek continued, "The main thing you ought to know is those living in the Scorched Lands are either nomads or miners. They deal with the NE corporation trying to conquer more cities and towns, deal with wild elemental beings rampaging across the Vast, and three main factions of demons".

Layla nodded.

Olek said, "We have a war of demons happening here just like across the 'verse. A Hades Demon Lord named Syddon the Demon Locust has a demonic base out in the Vast. Morning Star is a female Nexus Devil who has a nomadic group from Dyval following her across the Vast. They mostly fight against each other but do frequently raid outlying towns. Then there is Vazathoth and his Vathik Chaos Demons from deep below the surface of the Scorched. I'd rank NE as the planets number two bad guy right now, right behind the Vathik".

Layla asked, "Vazathoth like a Vampire Intelligence"?

Olek considered it then said, "It's more like a Splugourth Intelligence but, different. Rumor is the thing is an Old One. Or was born of an Old One. It's also rumored to be a great chaos demon intelligence. Whatever Vazathoth is it came from way below the surface of the Scorched Lands and gave birth to the Vathik demons, its sole purpose seems to be to destroy, kill and hurt. It's the main reason most people on Scorch stay near the Obsidian Mountains and out of the Vast".

Olek handed Layla a clear canteen of black water and said, "It's water. It's black water but safe. The minerals in the rivers turn the water black in color. At one time there used to be oceans of fresh water here but now there are just four rivers. Water and food are scarce in the scorch and the city states often have it imported".

Layla took the canteen and Max yelled back to Olek, "We're next in line to pass security Olek. Time to do your magic".

Layla looked at Olek and asked, "Do your magic"?

Olek stood up and nodded to the female dragon juicer, "Blackwell is a city of miners and Shade Hunter's. They're primarily merchants and money makers here. They hire their muscle. Security will consist of hired mercenaries from the city state of Scorch, maybe a psychic warrior Guardian, former Sarpedon Legionnaires, probably one Shadow Walker Mage and a Temporal Wizard for sure. It's the temporal mage we need to be wary of. The Pillars are stored in a dimensional envelope. The temporal will be able to see them. He won't know what they are probably but I don't want to advertise them or get told we can't enter".

Olek moved aft in the Nil saying, "So I'm going to cast them into a Time Capsule. That way they'll be gone for a few hours until they reappear in the envelope later".

Boreham stood next to Layla, as Max pulled the Nil forward into the security check point, and watched Olek move into the cargo area.

Layla looked at the Cold Blooded man. He stood there dressed in a black hooded cloak, holding the Scythe in his right hand, his pale shirtless chest visible through the open cloak and his eyes a brilliant blue. She chuckled.

Boreham looked at her, "What"?

"You look like the Grim Reaper Boreham".

Boreham smiled, "Good. Max said we would have time to waste here in this city. Said we'd have to wait for the pillars to come back. Max said he'd take me to this place called Center. You could come along? Max said Olek would be sitting around in a tavern here waiting for the buyers".

Layla nodded and said, "Have fun. I'll go with Olek. Boredom at a simple tavern sounds good to me right now Boreham. Got to buy some Synth-Silk clothes and get the strongest drink they serve here. I'll hang out with our new Commander to keep an eye on him. He doesn't strike me as a fighter if things go south. Great Mage but not the best shot".

Layla smiled and Boreham chuckled, "Okay".


Chapter Four
The Rough and Ready Inn


The city state of Blackwell was partitioned into four parts; the mines, the manors, the warehouse district and the dimensional trade center with the great black stone Dolmens.

Max landed the Nil Admirari amongst another hundred parked airships along the outer recesses of the heavily guarded warehouses. The Goblin explained that the Blackwell security forces also patrolled the airship docks. Before the four of them exited the Nil Max removed the large Bloodstone from the dashboard of the Streaker and dropped it into a pouch.

Standing outside with airships parked all around them Max said, "Well Olek, we'll meet you back here tonight. Ready Boreham? First stop in Center is Spacetown and a trip to C&C's".

Olek waved as the two headed off towards the great Dolmens to book passage to Center.

Striding across the black sand towards the northern portion of the warehouse district Olek told Layla, "The main trade bazaar has the best stuff for sale but I know of a shop here in the warehouse district that sells silk. We can grab you clothes and walk over to the R&R Inn to meet our buyers".

As they walked across the dusty black sand Layla looked up at the red sky. Dark clouds were brewing and the temperature seemed to be cooling off.

Layla said, "The building are all made of stone here"?

Olek nodded, "Only the Naruni import metal to build their buildings. Bright silvery metals. You'll find almost every house, building or place here in the Scorched Lands is either made of black stone, black metal or fire blasted clear sand used as murky windows. There are some places out in the Vast that have red sand and the people, or creatures, out there make stuff out of reddish rust looking metal".

Layla said, "This is such a dark world. It's day right? Night must be even darker".

Olek commented, "No moon. Stars are far off. Night is absolutely dark here. Here we are, Synth Weavers shop".

The stone buildings all along the street looked identical to the stone warehouses on the far side of the street. Only the hand painted signs hung outside told what was inside each shop. The sign hanging outside the double stone doors read: Synth Silk.

Olek pushed open the doors and motioned Layla inside. Stepping through the passageway she saw a large arrangement of silk looking clothing displaced. The shop was well lighted by several globes of light and the clothes shined like polished metal, everything was black in color.

Olek pointed at a glowing globe and said, "There is little electricity here, I like this shop because they use globes powered by Bloodstones instead of torches".

Layla was approached by an older human male with well tanned skin who introduced himself as, Tobias, the owner. After half an hour Tobias had Layla outfitted in a pair of black, Genuine Leatherhide boots, a pair of loose Synth-Silk combat pants and a black t-shirt made of the same Synth-Silk light armor. Several identical pants and shirts were placed into a black leather bag with a strap and Olek paid. Leaving the shop they headed down the street until they arrived at a door with a sign reading: R&R.

Pushing through the doorway they entered the loudest and rowdiest bar Layla had ever been too. Glancing around she saw at least a dozen different species, some obvious merchants, some fighters and some dressed like magic casters. Layla took it all in. Loud music being played by a human and three aliens. Smoke drifting across the room from pipes. Laughing and arguing. Happy drunks. Sad drunks. Alien drunks. The wait staff and bar tender where green goblins like Max.

Layla looked over at Olek who was smiling and said to him, "Max like this place? Goblins and all"?

Olek frowned, "Quite the contrary. Max never comes here. Pisses him off. The reminder that most of the lower level jobs in Blackwell are filled by under paid Psi Goblins. I'm sure that's what prompted him to go show Boreham Center. I usually come here with Mags not Max. Come on, let's find a table and wait for our friends".

Moving to the back of the establishment Olek stood next to a table with a passed out human dressed like a gladiator. Motioning at the bar tender and pointing at the passed out man the goblin bar tender nodded and yelled at another goblin moving around the room. The goblin made his way over to the table, grabbed the passed out man's shoulder and arm, and unceremoniously dragged the man through the tavern and out the front door.

Olek sat down at the table and Layla sat across from him. The same goblin walked back inside and came over to the table.

"Drink? Food? Pleasure"?

Olek replied, "Yes, yes and no. Two Spirit Waters, Vapor fries, and it's business only today. We are being met here by some Sunaj".

The goblin's eyes widened and he turned his head to his right loudly saying, "Yes sir coming right up and I understand you are meeting some Sunaj"!

Olek grinned at Layla as the goblin made his way towards the kitchens and several patrons got up and left the bar.

Olek said, "And there go the meek with warrants or bounties. Corse the meaner ones won't leave. Heck I have a bounty on me, that some Sunaj might try to collect, someday".

Layla rolled her eyes but smiled, "Spirit Water, string I hope. I don't need fries. Do they serve dragons blood here"?

Olek raised both eyebrows and said, "They probably would for the right price. Are you in need"?

Layla shook her head no and looked around the bar. Olek tried to distract himself, he didn't want to notice how attractive Layla was. After the goblin brought their order Olek spent his time looking into the glass.

Layla frowned at Olek, with his hood on she couldn't see his face.

Layla stated, "Do I disgust you some how"?

Olek looked up with concern, "What"!

Layla said, "You almost never look at me".

Olek stammered, "Well. No! Geez. I'm sorry. I'm no good at talking to people".

Layla smirked, "You look at Max when you talk to him. You look Boreham in the eyes. You even spend a lot of time looking at Mags".

Olek wasn't sure what to say and looked down.

Layla laughed, "See. Commander. Time Mage. You hit s fling going with Mags? How old are you Olek"?

Olek looked sternly at Layla, "Mags is like a sister to me. I thought she died on Earth. So no, no fling there. Max has the hots for her but Max likes all girls. I'm 20 years old, why? How old are you"?

Layla smiled softly and said, "I'm sorry Oleksandr. I just can't figure you out. You are so, um, you just don't look at me. I'm only 25, and yes I know I look more like I'm 30 something. Being a Dragon Juicer ages you".

Olek took a deep breath and blew it out, "Layla I figured you were more my age. I have spent my entire life being raised by a inhuman energy being named Grlyss. Other than Mags and Max I rarely had conversations with anyone other than Grlyss. He said that if I had more than, passing on his orders to humans, I'd be adversely influenced. He seemed okay with Mags, Max and I being friends. Being a Temporal Rifter means giving up some of your humanity. Mentally. Grlyss said I had to think like a Raider if I was going to grasp the concepts he was teaching me. So sorry if I feel odd talking to you".

They both sat in silence for several minutes.

"Besides Layla. Up till now you've been gallivanting around in leather panties and bra. I didn't want to embarrass myself after looking at you".

Layla looked at his grin, waited until it started to falter, and then laughed aloud. "Okay Olek. You're forgiven. I got cloths on now, so do me a favor, look at me when we speak. Besides. If it helps. I'm hardly human anymore. Not since I was 23 and became a juicer, and if you want you can call me Lani".

Olek nodded, "Oli is what Max and Mags call me. You can too. Look I was wondering. We kind of took off with you, leaving Earth behind, are you still okay with that? I mean, I'm glad you're here but if you want after we get paid we can take you and Boreham where ever you want".

Layla smiled, "I'm good. As far as I'm concerned the farther away from Alistair the better. I stole his sword".

The music stopped as three tall humanoid's dressed in black demonic full Sunaj plate armor walked into the R&R. A moment later the music resumed. Olek looked over towards the entrance and said, "Come sit next to me Lani".

Layla moved over to sit next to Olek as the three Sunaj walked over. Two stood at the edge of the table as one sat down across from Olek and Layla.

The creepy helmet of the Sunaj turned to look at Layla then back at Olek who nodded at the Sunaj.

The Sunaj spoke, "The contract is done"?

Olek nodded, "Yes. You wanted Rune messed with, we messed with her. Stole her Hell Pillars".

The Sunaj slowly nodded, "That will suffice. You have the pillars"?

Olek nodded, "I do. In an hour they will re-materialize in my ship by the warehouse district".

The Sunaj said, "We will follow you to your ship. Once the pillars are in our possession you will be paid. Where there any complications that I need to know about Oleksandr Volkov"?

Olek frowned, "I lost nearly 280 members of the Delvers. Just so you know, the Coalition States has gotten quite brave. They came through the Arch and fought us here in the Scorched Lands. In fact some are still here".

The Sunaj looked over at the other two standing Sunaj than back at Olek, "That is very, unsettling news. Commander Grlyss will be available for more missions, or will he require time to restaff"?

Olek stared at the Sunaj for a moment then said, "I am Commander now. Grlyss is dead. My Brouhaha Crew is open to jobs".

The Sunaj was unmoving for a while. Finally he glanced at one of the standing Sunaj who nodded.

"We will consider this. Like I said, we will follow you to your ship. We will transfer the pillars back to Lord Splynncryth and I'm sure he will destroy them. Let's go Commander Volkov".

The Sunaj got up and Layla and Olek did likewise. Olek tossed a golden coin onto the table and nodded at Layla to head out.

The Sunaj who had nodded at the sitting one spoke; she said, "Commander Grlyss told us that someday he would pass leadership and command of the Delvers onto you Commander Volkov".

Olek looked at her demonic faceplate and nodded. Following Layla the five of them left the R&R.

Once back at the Nil Admirari Olek said, "Give it a minute. I'll open the cargo doors but it'll be a few minutes before the pillars return".

Layla stood next to Olek quietly waiting and looking at the three Sunaj as they waited.

Several minutes later the Hell Pit Pillars re-materialized and lay on the black sand.

The Sunaj woman stepped closer to inspect them then turned around to face Olek. She motioned to one of the Sunaj who headed off down the line of parked airships. She spoke to Olek, "Zartath will get our ship. Here is your payment voucher, your credits are at the Blackwell Financial building in the dimensional market".

As Olek took the papers she continued, "I am. Sorry. About Commander Grlyss. I originally had a contract in mind for the Delvers that is too big a job for you now. However, if you are seeking further employment I will meet you in two days at your base out in the Vast. Contact me before hand to let me know. Lord Klynn is looking for a strike team to attack the Naruni holdings here in the Scorched Lands at the city state of Dolm. Apparently Klynncryth has an interest in expanding his enterprises here in the Scorched Lands and he also hates the Naruni. The job entails the theft of mining tools and such in order to start his own operation and mine. Let us know".

Olek nodded and pocketed the pay vouchers.
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Re: Rifts® Adventure Novella: The Brouhaha Crew. P 1& 2 Fan Fiction for Rifts.

Post by Lars » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:29 pm

Chapter Five
Red Sun Attack


Olek set the hand written note on the dashboard of the Nil Admirari and went back outside. He wasn't sure why Max and Boreham were not back from Phase World yet but knew it would be next to impossible to go locate them.

Layla stood outside waiting for him and asked, "Think they're alright"?

Olek nodded, "Sure. I want to get back to our base to pass on the job offer to Mags and get her take on it so let's go buy two hover cycles and go".

After heading into the busy main dimensional market they purchased two cycles and headed out of Blackwell.

After several hours of boring flight across barren black sand they created a hill and Layla pulled her hover cycle up next to Oleks. Pointing off to their right she indicated an area that looked like it was being ravaged by tornadoes. Olek slowed to a stop and landed. Layla landed next to him and said, "What's that"?

Olek shook his head, "Wild Elementals. Either they are out on their own attacking someone or they are being summoned by Red Sun Elemental Mystics. In either case someone is fighting for their live".

Layla stated at Olek who finally said, "Alright. Alright. Let's go see. If we can help we will".

Grinning Layla turned her hover cycle towards the elementals and rocketed off towards the commotion. Olek followed her frowning.

As the neared the scene they saw two people fighting the elementals. One was casting shadow magic Olek recognized and the other was definitely a Guardian psychic warrior using his energy pistols to fire at the beings who were attacking a small town.

Both Olek and Layla got off their cycles and started running towards the town.

Olek glanced over at the Guardian as the psychic warrior weaved back and forth avoiding hurtled rocks and debris. The man had on a set of full black plate armor with four energy pistol holsters. Two of them were drop holsters on either hip, and two were chest holsters. With a energy pistol in each hand the man danced across the black sand pointing the pistols out at swirling earth tectonic elementals that were wildly tearing across the black sand and rock advancing towards him. Shot after shot burst from the pistols as the Guardian deftly avoided another thrown boulder.

Olek didn't want to stand too close to the Guardian as he lashed out with paired pistols and fired at the elemental beings. Looking to the far edge of the little town, Olek saw a man around a hundred feet away, dressed in a red and orange cloak weaving his hands about. Olek concentrated and cast a spell allowing himself to step forward one foot and appear right behind the Red Sun Elemental Mystic.

Olek grabbed the man by his neck and as he kicked the Mystic behind his knee, forcing him down, Olek cast Time Warp Age on the Mystic. As the Mystic fell forward aging rapidly from his early twenties to close to a hundred years old he weakly tried to turn around and point his finger at Olek. Olek reached out and grabbed the man's hand, twisting his fingers backwards, hearing the bones snap Olek kicked the old man in his face sending the Mystic backwards to lay in the black sand. A tectonic elemental raced across the sand towards Olek. He saw the Guardian firing repeatably into the back side of the being as the warrior ran towards Olek. As the elemental fell forward and landed at Oleks feet, still using its gnarled rocky hands to pull itself towards the Temporal Rifter, Olek stepped over the now old and screaming man, who was holding his broken hand, and grabbed the elemental by its head. Ripping supernatural life essence out of the elemental Olek siphoned the energy into his own body, transforming his human body into a supernatural being.

Olek didn't look any different but he felt his body transform and with supernatural strength he lifted the elemental being up and crushed the Red Sun Mystic underneath its weight. Another Mystic ran at Olek firing a energy pistol at him, Olek opened his hand up and took the shot in his palm. It stung bad but he jumped forward, snarling and kicked the man in his stomach. As the Mystic doubled over Olek hear the man's spin snap as he flew back away from the kick. The Guardian eyed Olek for a moment then pointed his right hand pistol out to his side and fired twice without looking and blasted the last remaining Red Sun worshiper in the face. Turning back towards the town both the Guardian and Olek looked over at the Shadow Walker and Dragon Juicer.

Layla ran, black broadsword held high, towards the red haired woman who was dressed in blood black leathers. Shrouded partly by shadows she was difficult to see in the darkness of night. As Layla ran with inhuman speed towards the shadowy woman she saw one of the elemental tornadoes thrust out towards the woman. Even with her augmented speed she knew she wouldn't reach the woman before the elemental got a hit in. The red haired woman disappeared and then reappeared several feet away stepping out from the shadow of a black rock. She fired a bolt of black energy from her palm towards the elemental who had crashed a ton of debris down on the location she had been a moment before. Layla leaped twenty feet high and a dozen feet across the sand and brought the sword down on the elemental as the black blast struck it. The red haired Shadow Walker yelled a quick spell and as a shadowy black sword of magic energy erupted into her hand she blinked across the space to stand near Layla, together the two fierce women slashed and stabbed at the twisting elemental being.

The tectonic being collapsed into a pile of rubble and the two woman stopped striking it. The four of them looked around, nodded at each other and saw a single elemental being twisting away through the darkness away from the town. They each moved closer to the center of the town. The low built homes of the town, cut from slabs of rock and partially buried by sand mostly stood intact. A few were destroyed but even those had cellars which the occupants had thankfully used. A variety of people started to come out of the homes to look around.

The Shadow Walker waved at the people who smiled back. Olek and Layla stood next to one of the destroyed homes and helped those inside get out. Olek, still empowered by his supernatural transformation tossed heavy slabs of rock effortlessly aside. Layla stopped moving rock and rubble to watch him.

The Guardian came closer, cleaning his pistols one at a time with great care with a clean cloth before holstering them. Looking around at the others he nodded again and said, "Thank you for stepping in to help. My name is Aix. I was just passing through when I saw the Red Sun Mystics sending their spawns at the Walker and the town".

The red haired woman looked over at Aix, "Aix the Guardian? Makes sense the way you danced about with those pistols. I've heard of you. My name is Sadie and yes I'm a Shadow Walker". Turning to look at Layla and Olek she continued, "I also know you Oleksandr of the Delvers. Your group of bandits came through the city state of Fissure a few years ago and did a job for those there. I seem to recall you Delvers forgot to get paid afterwards". Looking at Layla, Sadie said, "Don't know you, but I thank you".

Layla nodded, "No problem. I'm Layla. From Earth".

Aix said, "Impressive sword fighting Layla. I've never been to Earth but I have a new respect for their women, who leap great distances and fight like demons". Smiling Aix pulled another pistol out and meticulously went about cleaning it.

Sadie said, "The Red Sun have been harassing this small town lately. I stopped here last week and think I'll stick around for an other in case more return. Thank you again".

Olek nodded and said, "Ready Layla"?

Layla nodded and started walking back towards her hover cycle.

Olek nodded at Aix who said, "I have no vehicle and was headed nowhere in particular. Are you willing to drop me off somewhere along the direction of where ever you might be headed"?

Olek nodded again, "Sure. We're headed out further into the Vast to our base. You can hitch a ride".

Aix holstered the pistol, folded the cloth and put it away. "Thank you".


Chapter Six
New Brouhaha


As the three of them neared the old Delvers base, or new Brouhaha base Olek and Layla slowed their cycles. Aix was still sitting on the back of Oleks cycle as they approached the large hanger. Olek set the cycle down on top of the building and keyed in the code to the lock. As the bay doors opened he lifted back up then down into the hanger. Layla landed next to him.

Dismounting the cycles the three of them stood next to the hover cycles as the bay doors closed and the floor lowered deeper into the ground.

Aix commented, "I've passed by before but never been inside. Your offer of food and water is kind. I'll try not to impose too much friends".

Olek nodded saying, "It's no problem. If you are heading out on foot later it's the least we can do".

Once they were deep underground they followed Olek towards the main briefing room and found it occupied by both Max and Mags.

Quick introductions were made and Olek asked, "Where is Boreham"?

Max shrugged, "He and I visited Spacetown and he was totally impressed. While we were there we bumped into a Cosmo Knight. Guy was hiring heroes to go fight the good fight. I of course declined. Boreham was totally enraptured by Mr. Cosmo Knight's words. He hired on with some other goody good guys".

Olek said, "You left him"?

Max said, "No. He stayed. He chose to stay. His choice. Who am I to stop him Oli".

Olek nodded, "Alright. I guess Cosmo Knights are kind of impressive. Look Layla and I were paid by Zaranja and her fellow Sunaj. On our way back, like I said we met Aix. The Sunaj are asking for a tactical strike on the NE in Dolm. Theft of mining gear and equipment. I for one am always up to giving a black eye to the Naruni. How are we looking Mags"?

Magitha looked Olek in the eyes and said, "Honestly? I'd follow you anywhere Olek. The crew are split. Half are on board with you leading. The other half are asking for someone else to be Commander. I think a lot of them could be coerced into following you if I speak with them. Ultimately though, we need to recruit. We need our numbers back up near three hundred instead of twentyish".

Olek nodded, "Who did they have in mind for Commander besides me"?

Magitha looked over at Max then back at Olek, "Me".

Olek smiled, "Oh. That makes sense. Look Mags I think the crew has it right. No wait. Listen. I could, I believe, do the job but truth be told, I don't really want it. You should be Commander. Your suited to it perfectly and if I was in charge I'd always be asking you what you thought we should do".

Magitha nodded, "Olek. If I am Commander, will you be my second"?

Olek smiled and said, "No".

"What"? Asked Magitha and Max at the same time.

Olek chuckled, "I am out. Commander Magitha congratulations on your promotion. I spent a very small portion of the pay from the Sunaj on two cycles which I'll leave here. I am going to do the Sunaj job against the NE in Dolm with my crew. The earning from that job my crew will keep. We may cross paths in the future and if you ever need me I'll come to your aid but I am headed out to Dolm while you rebuild your crew".

Commander Magitha shook Oleks hand and asked, "Who is on your crew Commander Volkov"?

Olek said, "Just Captain. Captain Volkov and the Brouhaha crew. My crew will consist of who ever is onboard the Nil Admirari when I take off".

Max laughed, "Well since you can't fly her I guess I will. Guess that means I'm in your crew".

Olek nodded, "Thanks Max".

Layla said, "I'll go too".

Olek thanked her.

Aix stated, "You know...I am not a big fan of the Naruni. Had family in Dolm. As a Guardian I am not real good at swearing allegiance to any one faction or group but if you'll have me I'll go too".

Olek smiled, "Sure thing. So there you have it. We're four again. Thank you Mags".

After good byes the four of them headed towards the Nil and Aix asked, "What does Brouhaha mean"?


Chapter Seven
Raid on Dolm


As the Ley Line Streaker lifted out of the Delvers hanger and turned east her crew of four talked. Oleks Sunaj contacts wanted the NE at Dolm struck, their mining operations messed up and delayed, and as much mining equipment as they could steal, stolen.

***** Strike Dolm. Steal equipment. Never wrote this part, INSERT HERE*****

Olek said, "Now we deliver our stolen goods, in the city state of Fissure, get paid, then it might be a good idea to lay low for a bit".

Max nodded while piloting the Nil as fast and as far away from the city of Dolm as the Ley Line Streaker could go.

Aix said, "Good idea. The Naruni will be plenty pissed at us. We should head to Fissure then anyone got a destination in mind"?

Layla said, "Earth possible? We could go there and the Naruni would never find us. Right"?

Olek smiled nodding his head, "Nice. Yes. To Earth and hang out there for a while until we decide on our next operation".

Sitting down next to Layla Olek looked over at Aix, "You'll love it there man".


Epilogue
Scorch Resistance


Drust wore his new set of body armor that he had purchased in the main market area of the city state of Scorch. Blending in with the locals he walked around the city. For an alien world the city state was amazingly pro human. A fact that wasn't lost on him. It wasn't like he was going to convert these people into joining the Coalition States but they were already so anti mutant, anti demon, anti anything other than pure human that even he, as a Psi Stalker, had to be careful to not let on he was a off world genetic variation of humans. Keeping either his armored leather hood on or his new helmet would help.

Matt has opened a portal using the Ley Line that passed through the city to send the Special Forces troopers home to the outskirts of Chi Town with the digital report he had put together for delivery to Colonel Hunter. Hopefully he would have his ideas approved by the Wayfarer Colonel.

Until he heard otherwise Drust was meeting some of the more militant and pro human natives to propose a new more active resistance within the city of Scorch.

The Cell team had already split up with different objectives to gather information. So far it looked like this world was home to not only the six main city states, aliens, miners and plenty of the supernatural, it was a world in which a dozen some odd dimensional raiders had decided to set up bases to conduct their terrorist operations on Earth or other places from.

He also had Smith looking into details on the airship pirates who they had learned were indeed pirates under the command of a Godling named, Juno Eacus, who employed a bunch of pirates, mercenaries, and mages including the new type they had fought against called, Pyromancers.

There was plenty to do here in the Scorched Lands and Drust was prepared to show those dimensional raiders, pirates and the other non humans here what it felt like to get hit in your own home.


FIN of Part Two. Part Three was only a few Chapters and was lost, forever gone. As the project was a practice piece I doubt I will write more. I may get around to posting the Dimensional Book I wrote at some point. Will see. If you read this story I hope you found enjoyment from it.

The only portion of the Scorched Lands that ever saw print was a revamped O.C.C. Pyromancers that I modified and then got published in the Rifter 82 as official Chaos Earth cannon material. - Dan (Lars)

Pyromancer
Rifter 82
Page 71 – Chaos Earth / Rifts Pyromancer O.C.C.
Page 73 – New Pyromancy Spells
Page 73 – Pyromancy Spell List starts
Page 74 – List of other Fire-Based Spells
Page 74 – Descriptions: Pyromancy Spells by Level
Page 74 – Level One
Page 74 – Armor of Ash (7)
Page 75 – Fiery Dagger (4)
Page 76 – Level Two
Page 77 – Volcanological Divination (7)
Page 78 – Level Three
Page 78 – Fiery Arrowhead (4)
Page 78 – Fiery Sword or Axe (12)
Page 79 – Level Four
Page 79 – Armor of Magma (14)
Page 80 – Level Five
Page 80 – Fire Jump (Teleport; 15)
Page 81 – Heal Burns (10)
Page 82 – Level Six
Page 82 – Healing Lava Pool (15)
Page 83 – Walk on Lava (10)
Page 83 – Level Seven
Page 84 – Pyroclastic Cloud Attack (25)
Page 84 – Level Eight
Page 84 – Magma Geyser (20)
Page 85 – Level Nine
Page 85 – Ash Storm (35)
Page 86 – Level Ten
Page 88 – Rain Lava (110)
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Dan Frederick (danjal73@gmail.com)
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Lars
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Re: Rifts® Adventure Novella: The Brouhaha Crew. P 1& 2 Fan Fiction for Rifts.

Post by Lars » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:12 pm



Link to view Scorched Lands Dimensions Book

Not for sale, fan fiction, written by Dan (Lars) - I never finished the book but did write a fair bit. Was practice. Enjoy.

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