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Thread: Nowhere & Nothing ( Original, Xianxia, Western, Steampunk , Fantasy )

  1. #1
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    Default Nowhere & Nothing (Original, Xianxia, Western, Steampunk, Fantasy)

    Nowhere & Nothing is a combination of genres — one part western and one part fantasy, with elements of steampunk and Xianxia thrown in for fun. Much like George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, this story is told through a number of diverse perspectives, each adding their own flavour to the dilapidated whole.

    The web serial begins with a disgraced former war hero moving to a frontier town with his pregnant wife in order to redeem himself by apprehending the gang who is terrorizing the local populace. Through a series of exciting twists and turns, this humble beginning grows into an epic clash between civilizations.

    Official website :

    While We Slept 1.01 – Prologue

    On a hill, below a bleak, cloudless sky sat the Witchwall, a remnant of a lost civilization from a forgotten epoch. Weathered with age, the monolithic piece of stone jutted out of the ground. Its shadow stretched over the field that was its domain like a solemn sentinel on the field of carnage, bathing in the distant sounds of gun and cannon fire.

    Gunpowder smoke plastered Captain Zebulon Bodmer’s face as he led his men towards the enemy’s line. His hand tightly gripped the army issued musket while the bayonet, affixed to the weapon, cut through the air. The blue unbuttoned officer’s coat flapped back and forth against his chest. It was soiled with sweat and blood, and the Architect knows what else.

    This is it, Zeb thought. One last push and their enemy would break like the soft wet flesh of a virgin’s hymen. The twenty men who followed him were all that remained of the Eighth Regiment. At the age of twenty-two, some believed he was too young to hold the rank of captain in the Colony of New Idmon’s Army. Yet, they refused to give up hope and run with their tails between their legs like beaten dogs. Their wounded comrades would not be left forgotten underneath the fading light of a dying sun.

    Zeb leaped over the ruined body of a fellow soldier while glancing at the fresh-faced youth named Charley Owen who was running alongside him. There was something good-natured and vulnerable in the way Owen stared at him. They were close friends; the horror of war had bound them together in an unbreakable bond.

    Charging with their bayonets first, a tiny sea of blue crashed into a line of men in red coats. Zebulon could feel the rage build as he gutted his first man. It was always like this, the rage would rip through him, carrying him forward. There was beauty in the screams. Violence spoke to him, it always had. He could hear the promise of salvation in the breaking of bones as he slammed the butt of his musket into a man’s jaw. More! He needed more.

    War was about belief and conviction, and Zeb believed in his own invincibility. Death was something that happened to others, but never to him. The red coated Rhode soldiers believed it too. It was in the way their eyes widened and the way they ran in the other direction while he moved forward, gutting and crushing skulls. “Captain, Captain!” His men yelled and cheered in jubilation as their enemy ran.

    The bloody bodies of light infantry littered the area around Zeb. They had done it; twenty-one men broke a company of hundreds. “Don’t stop, they’re …” His words trailed off as a stray musket ball slammed into his left eye. His back met the ground with a thud. Pain, white and hot, broke against the walls of his rage. He clinched his jaw, refusing to give voice to the hurt. He would not weep like a woman, he told himself. He forced his mind away from the waves of torment, a trick he learned while weathering his father’s beatings as a child.

    Almost since he was old enough to walk, he had been fascinated by tales of the Old World. Stories where Fierce Beasts could tear down the walls of large cities and Immortal Magi flew through the sky, raining down destruction on those who would not bend the knee in submission. Three hundred years ago, his ancestors fled the Old World. They ran away from a homeland torn asunder by the evils of magic to search for a place where they could find peace and the chance to worship the Architect without fear of persecution.

    He closed his eye against the pain while Owen kneeled down beside him trying to offer comfort. Owen’s whispered words held no meaning, the sounds were too distant. The only thing that cut through the noise in his head were the screams of the wounded.

    His ancestors were fools to believe they could find peace at the end of their journey. He laughed as he thought of them packed tightly in wooden ships, fleeing across the Chaotic Ocean. The New World was free from the tyranny of the Magi, but it held no peace. Man could not run away from their nature, for, as long as they breathed, they would find new ways to kill each other.

    Zeb awoke in a strange tent, lying on his back, strapped to a wooden operation table with a bloody bandage over his missing eye. He grimaced, trying to still the liquid fire shuddering inside his skull. It had been three hours since the Battle of Witchwall ended and forty-five minutes since his mind last held consciousness.

    “You’re dying,” spoke a voice from the shadows.

    It was hard to think with shrapnel in his brain. “Where am I?” He asked the voice while his eye tried to make sense of the room. An oil lamp lay next to him casting a small pool of illumination. A man stepped into the light and studied Zeb with his hands clasped behind his back. He had intense grey eyes and short black hair. Surrounding his smirk was a neatly trimmed goatee.

    “They’re calling you the hero of the Battle of Witchwall,” the man said. Zeb knew he should recognize this stranger, but his memory was fragmented and hazy.

    “Where am I?” He tried again as his eye settled on a tray of knives across from him. Fear began digging its little claws into his flesh. If only he could remember what he should be afraid of.

    “You’re back within the camp. Unfortunately, the fools who call themselves doctors could do nothing for your injury so your friends brought you here begging for my help,” the stranger explained while Matutinus, a bold-headed man who casted a shadow the size of a mountain bear, tied a black leather apron around his waist.

    Zeb choked on fear the size of a cannonball. He was in the Tinker’s tent. Like most, he had heard the stories. Tinkers worshiped a demon god who demanded offerings of blood and bones. They stole babies away from their families so they could uncover the mystic truths hidden in their tiny snarled intestines. How else could they invent gunpowder and the other strange innovations that were starting to flood the towns and cities of the Twelve Colonies?

    “You’re afraid?” The Tinker loomed above Zeb while he spoke. “Good. You stand at a crossroads. In one direction lies a certainty– death, in the other, the possibility of life. Select your next words with care.”

    “I want to live,” sobbed Zeb as his vision began to fade. He drifted away on a tide of black. Suddenly, his eye snapped back open as the Tinker cut into him with a scalpel, making a 5-inch-long surgical cut in his chest wall. Zeb tried to scream but he found his mouth plugged with a rubber gag. The pain in his eye was nothing compared to what he now felt in his chest. He thrashed back and forth, straining against the constraints.

    Unperturbed, the Tinker used a small crank to divide Zeb’s chest cavity. The sound of bones cracking and slimy flesh tearing mixed with the grinding of the squeaky gears on the device until Zeb’s beating heart was revealed to the room. The Tinker spoke in an almost bored tone, “This is not charity. If this works, you’ll owe me a favor and, one day, I’ll come to collect it.”

    Growing up how he did, Zeb thought he understood pain. They were old friends, or so he thought. He tried his old trick and distanced himself from the agony by counting the number of people in the tent. There were two others beside the Tinker and Matutinus, though he didn’t get a chance to see their faces. It wasn’t working. There were hot coals burning their way into his chest. There was no moving beyond this pain.

    The Tinker picked up a God Heart from a wooden box that Matutinus held open for him. It was round and the size of a chicken’s egg. Within its see-through shell, tiny and beautifully constructed gears slithered around inside, creating orbits within orbits. The room stilled when the Tinker placed it next to Zeb’s heart.

    Zeb could feel it, a twitching of clockwork precision pulsing in tune to his heartbeat. The feeling took his mind away from the pain. The shell of the God Heart melted away after the Tinker poured a black liquid onto it. Zeb’s second heart was growing and spreading its root within him, and his spine tingled as it reached upwards to his brain. Then he felt no more.
    Last edited by Baron56; 05-31-15 at 01:21 AM.

  2. #2
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    Currently 3 chapters posted on my website: https://nowhereandnothingwebserial.w...e-of-contents/

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