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Centurion Nouveau
07-06-2016, 05:18 AM
Post: #1
Centurion Nouveau
Chapter 1- Cowpoke Of The Listening Wind

The dust settled from the ashen sky. The sun, from what little of it there was to be seen, baked the earth to white hot cinders. Nothing grew here, no water, no food, no life. Thraxas, manic plunderer, had drained the planet dry as the villagers suffered in sorrowful silence. But his reign was about to come to an abrupt end. From out of the dark grey clouds soared a vision of hope and neon, backlit with a goal of peace and inner strength. His name was Dale Porter and the power of imagination was his craft. His profession, though not of his own choosing, was that of Centurion Nouveau; a breed apart from man itself. Those that were fortunate enough to be chosen were transported to the otherworldly realm of Freespace; a transcendental limbo between dreams, nightmares, and the human subconscious. There, they were trained and mentored by the mysterious elders known as The Cult Of The Shroud. When they had truly proved themselves worthy to be of the pack, a crystal shard was placed upon their brows. This shard was of a precious breed, forged from the minds of the most potent dreams and dreamers imaginable, it was only as able as the desires of those who wielded it. They of the Shroud would call it “Figment”.

The innocent longing of Dale Porter was to have mastery over both air and wind, and so they of the Shroud dubbed him “Wind-Spur”. While his influence over the elements was altogether harmless in nature, they still were very much a force to be reckoned with. From his waist pocket he drew out his weapon of choice, a small cork gun, a playground favorite of old. He reached out, stretching as far as he could and grasped a plentiful fistful of dust, tenderly pouring it into the small toy and packing it ever so diligently inside with a ram rod. With the hammer and trigger pulled down and back by the weight of his thumb and forefinger, he made his presence known with a deafening blast that seemed to project an impact equal to that of an atomic bomb.

“Thraxas,” Dale beckoned, “by order of the hierarchy of The Shroud, I hereby demand that you cease your degradation of the land and by extension, the fine people of Daisy Ridge.” What emerged from the saloon, Dale soon realized, was no longer human nor humanoid for that matter. Pouring out of Thraxas’ body was a mist of putrid blackness that smelt of warm sulfur and ash. He was a slinking inferno of anti-matter just waiting to implode. His eyes bright as a supernova, relishing his newfound prey. Darting in and out of Dale’s visual perception, Thraxas plunged his blade into Dale’s tender flesh, shattering his aura shield; leaving him naked and vulnerable. The wounds were deep, and if not treated immediately, they could have been potentially fatal. Thraxas grabbed Dale by the throat as he squirmed in agony, his senses leaving him as he began to convulse in shock. “Dreamer,” Thraxas gloated,” you’re far too weak to be worthy of my hunt. Though the warrior in me commends your effort, as futile as it might be, you are but a fish in a pond of sharks. Think larger and you will conquer, think small and you only have yourself to blame.” Thraxas threw Dale’s body up into the air. As gravity took its course, Thraxas plunged his blade into Dale’s stomach. Thraxas reaped the rewards of his ill-gotten victim, savouring the blood that splattered into his gaping maw. No alcohol in all of the known galaxy to top this delicious pulpy delicacy.

The life in Dale’s eyes faded to pure, unequivocal blackness. But then miraculously, he woke up; coughing up a shimmering bile of pure dreamstuff on his bedspread. His mental projection, his other self, had died. After six months of intense training under the tutelage of others far more learned than he, he had failed. Not only himself, but he had failed his teachers, and the Shroud. From his bedside, he saw a swirling portal form and grow larger. Making it’s way through was Apollo Diethety, alias Black Nova, the eldest and wisest of the cult’s pupils. While his body had died eons ago, his tangible memory still lived to serve others. Before he gave his life to the Shroud, he was poet and scholar in ancient Greece who stood alongside the likes of Socrates, Homer, and Plato, though time would not remember him quite so well as his peers. “Do not grimace so Dale Porter,” Apollo said, in soothing reassurance, “for you are still but a novice in the craft of astral combat. I have taught others, who were just as frail a beginners as you are, but went on to become the best of the Nouveau.”

“I don’t think I have the strength to get up to that level again. My body was like glass, I couldn’t see his movements, I couldn’t see anything.” Apollo, resting his staff on the ground beneath him, lowered himself beside Dale, “How familiar are you in the eastern art of meditation? Through nothing more that a crouched stillness, those of China, Thailand, and Japan, have mastered a level of self clarity that borders on pure artistry. The training of the mind Dale Porter,” Apollo touched his temple,” is just as important as the discipline of the body, if not moreso. I think, in time and proper reflection, you will find that your tutelage these past months has not been so easily wasted as you believe. May the Shroud guide you my friend on the proper path of a singular self.” And with that, Apollo dissipated into nothing, his visage voyaging back to the primordial den of human subconsciousness that was “freespace”. Dale touched his upper lip, a long trail of dreamstuff had trickled out of his nose. He dabbed it with his fore finger and inspected it, only to watch it shrink away into the midnight ether.


The next day, Dale’s life went on routine as usual. He awoke at four, showered, dressed, and drove to his job at the Smokestack Diner where he served seven kinds of unappetizing concoctions to patrons who either didn’t know any better or couldn’t have cared less. The only redeeming quality to the dilapidated dive was the coffee, which according to some was rich, flavorful, and invigorating. There was also something in it that gave it a certain je ne sais quoi that no one could quite put their finger on. But that was the secret that the head waitress, Miranda Florence, shared with no one. At five-forty eight, Dale pulled into the parking lot of the diner and perched on the outside bench was, as usual, “Brother” Ollie. Ollie was a shiftless social outcast from the “flower child” period who waxed philosophical. In another time, he might have been one of the greatest minds the world had ever known, but here, he was just another ganja scented burn-out with no means of income or housing. Ollie and the Diner’s owner & head chef, Rodney, had something of an understanding. So long as Ollie was up for doing odd jobs for the diner during the day, the bench was his.

Dale gave Ollie a knowing pat on the shoulder and sauntered inside, the potent aroma of bacon grease and moldy cheese wafting through his nostrils. Miranda and Rodney said their “hellos” to Dale and the three went to work making and serving entries. During the day, Dale reflected on what Apollo told him and his battle with Thraxas. He wondered how comic book characters mentally transitioned from “hero” to “civilian” on a day to day basis without having a psychological meltdown or horrific flashbacks to battles with a particularly nasty villain. He couldn’t even imagine how high the bills of shrink sessions would be, astronomical probably. He looked up through the cook window and saw Miranda bouncing back and forth with orders like a naive schoolgirl, her love of the stream of pop hits piping through the diner’s loudspeaker probably didn’t help.

It was in this serene quiet of listlessness that Dale noticed the presence of a distinctive aura, that of the gemini twin personage, Yulely and Dianne Batsuane’. Separated from birth, their eventual reunion awakened in them something sinister, yet pure and allowed them to glide into each other’s bodies; thus rendering them “whole”. Yulely would take control of Dianne’s porcelain physique and turn her into a siren of thunder, fire, and ice, “Windsong”. Dianne would command Yulely’s vein-filled bulk and turn him into a domineering wrecking-ball named “Apex”. Together they were nigh unstoppable, but separate, they were powerless. Following closely in toe was Gerald Grunning, Dianne’s on again off again “fling”, who had also been a close friend of Yulely; alias Doppler. He could command electronics with the ease of the best computer hackers out there and merge himself with them to become a perfect hybrid of man and machine. It was easy to see why the trio ran together, as they had a similar power set and personal history.

Their incomprehensibly powerful dream aura initially threw Dale into a frenzied panic, thinking that it was Thraxas coming back to finish him off. But maybe, just maybe the workday stress was getting to him, so he asked for a “break” and sauntered off to join the collective. Their words were so much like his, but they spoke of things so beyond the comprehension of mere mortals that they might have well have been personified gods. As he neared them, he could feel himself dispersing more and more into the ether as if he were wading through the cool, calming waters of a slumbering riverbed. Nothing could harm him here, he knew that. So long as the four of them drank from the same wellspring of imagination, no fiendish premonitions could ever hope to touch them.

The mood of the diner slowly shifted from an empowering battle-cry of two star crossed lovers to something far more dreary and methodical; like an ode to an oncoming torrential storm. Music, much like the imagination, had that textual might at it’s disposal. Dale sat down, the rush of adrenaline still feeding him in a fit of gluttony, stoking the flame that drove him. Beside him was Gerald, eating a side of liver and eggs with large glob of balsamic vinegar smeared on top. Dianne hated Gerald’s eccentric eating habits, and for good reason, he stunk profusely for hours afterwards. Yulely and his sister were holding one another in a fawning embrace almost as if they were lovers, which was not out the realm of possibility, as they were closer than any two people could ever hope to get to the other. “You doin’ okay? We heard from the guys upstairs about your little ‘incident’. Water cooler talk, you know how it is.” Dale sighed heavily, un shouldering his many burdens, “Yeah, it wasn’t pretty. But it all felt so incredibly real, like I feel myself slipping in and out of consciousness, the blood pouring out of my body.” Yulely and Dianne nodded in agreement, while Gerald belched some advice, “Eventually it gets more manageable, though never 'easier’. You gotta take the good with the bad, Facts of life and all that. I’m sure Apollo and the other elder Centurions could help, but sometimes they just feel too distant to even bother with.”


Far away, in a dimension incomprehensive to those of rational thought, exists a temporal space beyond “freespace” itself; the dream web. Ancient beings existed here, older than time, older than the Shroud itself. They are gone now, but one still forges away in his primordial den of white hot magma, The Foundryman. With his anvil, hammer, and otherworldly smelting pit, he fabricates the stuff that drives man’s dreams from their beginning to their abrupt conclusion; dreamstuff. Dreamstuff was and always had been an anomaly, as the conditions that created it were totally unknown. But whatever helped facilitate it, it was ripe for creative applications. Dreamstuff was like a miracle material, coarse enough to be metal, yet soft enough to be pure velvet. Every year, the Foundryman would make a special three dozen batch of it. Only half would go to the Shroud for their ceremonies, becoming shards of figment. The rest would be solely for the Foundryman himself. But once there was another that was almost his equal; Yorda Of Radulus.

But that was all in the past tense, Yorda had long ago shown himself his truest colors, abandoning the Foundryman’s teachings for more macabre crafts of black magic and torture filled amusement. Yorda was no longer a friend of mankind, only a friend to himself and to his followers; the slinking atrocities of creation known as the Acropolites. Yorda had betrayed The Foundryman and that had incensed him enough to brand Yorda with a stoking rod that was hot enough to sear his reptilian scales clean off. The seal bound Yorda to his own part of the ethereal plane, far beyond the reach of mortals and immortals, in a dank shrine of eldritch horrors known as “The House Of The Fallen”. It would be there that nightmares would be born to those with ill-intentions, festering in their own unique kind of demented evil. Those that managed to escape would be cursed with never ending madness, a sinister plague of the mind and soul for which there was no cure.

The thought of it sickened the Foundryman to his very core. It was times like these that he clung to his anvil and iron, to the rhythmic unison of pounding metal on metal. Steam flourished from his work, as did life itself. It was calming creating the beauty around him, watching the seeds he’d sown with such a fervor bear lush, multitudinous fruit. But that did not stop the ever lingering feelings of isolation and acute loneliness for which he had grown far too accustomed. The was need for a change, a dismantling of the familiar and the mundane. It was then that the Foundryman conversed with the Shroud for the first time in eons. The Shroud itself was a far greater unknowable than the Foundryman could ever hope to be as it constantly skirted the line between good and chaotic neutral. It was an like effervescent fog that roughly resembled a female bedazzled with pink and purple hues. “Man of Foundry, what say you?,” The Shroud yawned, “What need be so important as to awaken me from my eternal slumber?” “Lady Shroud, I grow weary of my false kinship with my surroundings and have need for a disciple.” “What of Yorda? Have you forgotten his betrayal of all that we hold dear in this accursed limbo of clandestine consciousness?” “No my lady, I have not. I have reaped what I have sown and have born the fruit of my own blissful ignorance. But I have reflected long and hard on this matter and feel it only right to start anew.” “Very well man of foundry, I will tend to my own crop and see what I can manage to cull from the herd.” The lady shroud dispersed into the ether, leaving only stardust and bliss in her wake

~*~*My Blog Of Blissful Perfection*~*~
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07-27-2016, 06:22 AM
Post: #2
RE: Centurion Nouveau
Chapter 2: Sacrament Of The Belladonna (In D Minor)

After his shift ended, Dale left with the Batsuane’ twins and Gerald. The transportation of choice was a dull cobalt blue ‘79 Chevy Monza Spyder. The quartet cruised to the nearby beach, the surf cresting and receding with sea foam frothing the sand into a bubbly sludge. Yuley and Gerald ran into the water, splashing each other like blissful children. Dianne had changed into a rouge colored one piece with a floral sarong, giving her a sense of grace with a bit of playfulness thrown in. Like Miranda, she radiated a motherly warmth that made everyone in her presence feel cared for. The sky faded from sheer modicum of warm hues to greyish blue, dusk was soon upon them and the tide was like nature’s timepiece. The oceanic flood waters of man’s birth and bold excursions of war and self discovery seemingly vanished. A large black portal materialized, radiating rings of light that reflected the trillions of stars around them. The four walked through it, bewildered to the paradise of the imagination;freespace.

They were greeted by “the four”, the eldest of the Centurion Nouveau; Apollo Diethety, Night Wind, Ta'al Vulstrum, and Markaia Odellus, history’s storied and all but forgotten children. Night Wind was perhaps the youngest, as he was a participant of Custer’s Last Stand where he was a war shaman for the Lakota people. From within himself, he channeled the spirits of his fallen brothers making him a mighty warrior and an insurmountable force of nature. His hands and face were not his own anymore, as they were covered in the ghastly gristle of his enemies. It was a single, precise shot to the chest that ended his war path.


Makaia Odellus came after, she was a beautiful spanish duchess who was betrothed to Henry the 8th. Her gentleness and sophistication shrouded her in the guise of an earthly madonna. Unfortunately, she was beheaded for not being able to bear her husband a son. Her swan like neck became incredibly sensitive to the supernatural once she joined the Centurion Nouveau and later the Shroud itself. Next was Ta'al Vulstrum, a Bulgarian celric on a religious pilgrimage of the self before he was slaughtered in the midst of a holy war that he unfortunately wandered into. His death was one parts scurvy and two parts blood loss as his right arm was severed clean off from the forearm downwards. During his resurrection, he was given a prosthetic made out of pure dreamstuff that could bend itself to his will and create a fearsome array of weaponry. He jokingly referred to it as “God’s Golden Arm” after a brand of mead from the Nordic highlands that he was fond of before his indoctrination into the house of god.

On the brows of the potential usurpers, an orifice opened, purely undetectable by most modern sciences. The orifice widened, stretching like a plasmatic glob of putty until it engulfed their entire being. The four dreamers in training stepped forward through the globulus gulf of dharmic enlightenment to become their truest selves, the Nouveau. Markia welcomed the quartet back into paradise as only a mother could, these precious few truly were worthy of the divine sainthood that had been so fervently emboldened with. This eve, her pupils would be subject to an incredibly auspicious event, a visit from the almighty Shroud herself.

Across the vast recesses of the human mind was a doorway to mind-numbing horrors beyond comprehension. The door was not easily found by those searching in the dark pools of flashing neurons, but rather those whom the door called to in a whisper of a siren song. Magma boiled and frothed enrapturing the place in sweltering, inescapable heat. Hell was not an appropriate description, for “what is hell?” afterall, but den of eternal suffering and anguish. The souls that dwelled here were not in mourning, but joyful in their hate for the world beyond the doorway. In a past life, they had names, jobs, homes, life partners, but such things no longer mattered. They were nightmares incarnate, the grim terrors of the crescent moon, the Acropolites; fallen champions of the dream world who had the desire to dream grander dreams of lustful power and sin. In the largest magma pool was a large ebony crystal that hummed like a choir of demonic angels, a fractured figment. Inscribed upon it were runes that bound it to it’s domain, much like the animate masters. But the runes served a dual purpose of dark enchantment, a mana pool.

Atop the highest marbled stalagmite was a throne and a hooded figure that eternally pondered, his boney fingers tapping the chiseled armrests with disdain. The Nouveau were growing stronger, too strong in fact. The ever tipping scales of power would no longer be in the Acropolites’ favor unless they found an ace in the sand; an X-Factor. For some time, they had been well aware of a young boy, Eli Spitzer, who had limitless potential. But the boy’s fire had yet to be sparked. If he was influenced by outside forces, perhaps they could forcibly trigger him “awake”. The hooded figure sipped the chalice of dark rouge colored wine and pondered…


Standing at the very forefront of a definite end was Hopper Wilde, ace photog for the Wellspring Gazette. He watched helplessly as a rabid monstrosity, who was once a former friend, savagely destroyed storied buildings rich in both in history and nostalgia. He charged head first into action, stripping himself bare of his suit and waistcoat. Wilbur, the gazette gofer, needed a friendly face; why not his? “Wilbur, it’s Hopper,” he said, fakely panting as if exhausted, this was not a time for the people of Wellspring , Minnesota to know his secret; not yet anyway. “Please, I know you’re angry and probably confused, but you need to stop this. You’re not only endangering the lives of people you know, but you’re endangering yourself.”

The monster who was once Wilbur Jones swatted Hopper Wilde away as if he were a petty insect. At near mach speed, Hopper collided with a building, rupturing the structure like a bulldozer. If not for his gravity powered bands that gave him his strength, he would have been a goner. Darting into the bathroom of the conveniently vacant building, Hopper stripped down further. Moments later, a stark blue blur darted out and struck the monster. It was Blue Hope, the humanoid being from another time. As a boy, he was on a interstellar cruise with his parents visiting then modern day Earth from the year five billion, until the ship collided with a black hole. Young Hopper managed to escape, but the rest of the crew and it’s passenger were not so fortunate. Hopper spent the next three and a half years stranded on the moon, fending for himself, struggling to survive on plentiful foreign fruits and wild animals. With a salvaged periscope viewed the world below like ants through a magnifying glass. The more he saw, the more he grew to appreciate how much they were like him.

On the eve of his sixteenth birthday, Hopper was greeted by a familiar face, his Great Uncle Jacobe. After not hearing back from the Interstellar cruise ship for some time, a search party was sent out, and Jacobe was the first to Volunteer. As much as he appreciate the gesture, Hopper felt a strange urge to stay and guard his newfound friends on earth. Jacobe was not pleased, but understood. “These were found in the wreckage,” Jacobe said, pulling out a large wrapped box, “I have a feeling this was intended as gift from your parents.” In the box were two gleaming gold bands inscribed with powerful runes and glyphs from Hopper’s culture. “Go to them Hopper,” Jacobe whispered in parting, “make our people proud.”

But to some folks, that was all hearsay, few believed such an outlandish tale. None more so than Alec Rasputin, local trillionare with a knack for drawing attention to himself in the most unscrupulous ways possible. Every crime in the past five years could be drawn back to Alec in some form or another. Luckily the townsfolk, the police especially, were easily overcome with amnesia at the sight of a large wad of greenbacks. Alec had been experimenting with a radical new formula that, if all went well, would enable him to usurp Blue Hope as a the city’s champion. With his keen brain honed by years of scientific understudy, nothing was too far out of his reach, except for one; Trina Tisdale, award winning reporter for the Wellspring Gazette. Unlike the other easily malleable women who waited with baited breath for a sliver of a chance at his courtship, Trina was seemingly impervious to his charm, as slimey and uncouth as it may have seemed….

The tattered and heavily dog eared copy of an 80 page giant reprint of various Blue Hope serials was Eli Spitzer’s pride and joy. It was one of the few home comforts that he was allotted when his parents checked him into a mental asylum for his own benefit. Eli had known from a very early age that he was a dangerous hazard to himself and everyone around him, but he didn’t quite know why. He had been there for three months and after numerous counseling sessions, he still had not even the faintest inkling of a grasp of what was wrong with him. He opened his door, grabbed his walkman, his fanny pack filled with cassette tapes encompassing a variety of genres from Italo-Disco to Alternative Rock and went for a stroll through the bleach white corridors. He asked the woman at the help desk if it would be alright if he got some fresh air at the visitation grotto and she didn’t see why not. Eli had been the spitting example of good behavior and the woman at the help desk was one of the many staff members who began to question if there was really anything inherently wrong with the boy at all.

Outside Eli encountered a particular counsellor who offered to buy him a can of soda that was rendered lukewarm by the faulty refrigeration of the dispensing machine. Eli liked the woman named Georgia enough to accept such a sundry and when she returned, the two talked of whatever topics came to mind; politics, love, religion, their minds were like open books. Even though Georgia may have been old enough to be Eli’s mother, she didn’t feel like it, she was far too progressive in scope. “I wanted to give you something, I know it isn’t exactly staff policy, but I saw it at a boutique shop in the mall and thought you might like it.” It was a navy blue t-shirt with a graphic. On the front, were three red stars encompassing Yggdrasil, the norse tree of life. The symbol had much meaning to Eli as it was emblazoned on Blue Hope’s french style military coat. Eli was speechless. The happiness inside him was gushing to the point of overflowing and that’s when “it” happened. An orifice opened dilated his unready mind into a torrent of new ideas and even newer possibilities from within. His fragile grip on reality, like all other things, shattered before him. Eli fainted, but before he collapsed, he noticed someone who wasn’t there before, someone blue with an unearthly aura about them


The Lady Shroud, in all her celestial beauty, descended from the heavenly plane of the mind to her perch at the echelon of pure cognitive thought. “Brothers,” she softly mummered in a gentle, motherly “coo” of a whisper, “and sisters, I am honored to be in your presence this evening and oh how I wish for it to be on happier terms. But nay, the deeds of the dark the curdle men’s souls in the blackest embers of villainy seek to rupture our grasp on the coil of freespace. They will not honor you as fellow warriors, they are above such charliton acts of goodwill. They will be tens upon tens as unmerciful as they were with Brother Wind-Spur, for that was just a sliver of their indomitable wrath. Hate and pain only makes them stronger, more vivid, more real. The fire in their bellies is a raging inferno that could forge a blade to tear the heavens asunder, giving them free reign to annihilate the human race and the worlds beyond. I weep for you and your future burdens, but know that you will be made stronger through your battles with the enemy and that I will always be with you.” The cult, the four, and the Nouveau all bowed before the mother, savouring her words that were still fresh as ripe fruit in their minds.

~*~*My Blog Of Blissful Perfection*~*~
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