From Dust

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Empty Jack

Junior Member

09-24-2012

(Just a quick idea I had, written up in one sitting. Feedback is appreciated!)

They were greeted by dust and decay, but that was hardly surprising.

Hawk and Roddoll had expected more resistance than this, but the estate had been abandoned for years. From all the talk and rumours, they had prepared themselves for ghosts and golems, but the only golems they had met were ancient, rusted things, their jewelled eyes long-ago taken by scavengers, their limbs frozen in place. Whatever magics once fuelled them were now long gone. They were the closest things to ghosts that haunted this place.

“Where should we look first?” asked Roddoll, following Hawk into the deathly-quiet entrance hall.

“The office,” answered the other, his voice barely a whisper. The stillness of this place disturbed him.

“And where's that?”

Hawk sneered in answer and moved forward, the other close behind. With every step, they sent plumes of dust billowing into the air, a sign that the interior of this mansion had remained undisturbed for ages.

The halls were decorated with ancient portraits, depicting lines of ancestry and a legacy of thematurgical inventors. The last portrait showed that of a tall, intelligent-looking man with a young, spritely girl. Neither Hawk nor Roddoll took notice, instead casting a wary eye on all the abandoned automatons that lined the plinths and pedestals should any of them suddenly spring to life.

They found the office on the top floor with little difficulty. Upon entering, Hawk was seized with a coughing fit as the dust here was thickest.

“Welcome to my home,” said a gravelly voice from the far end of the office.

The two bandits stopped dead in their tracks. There was a desk against the far wall and a high-backed chair with its back to them. They exchanged a look.

“Don't be afraid,” continued the voice. “You did not think to find anyone alive, yes?”

“Begging our pardon,” said Roddoll with a bow. “T'weren't our intention t' trespass none. We'll be on our way.”

The doors shut before they had time to backtrack. “Unfortunately, I cannot let you leave,” said the voice. “You see, I have given too many years of my life to my research, and I cannot let anyone compromise it.”

Hawk made a sign for Roddoll to be quiet and slid a curved dagger from his sleeve. Soundlessly, he glided towards the high-backed chair.

“We ain't here for your research,” answered Roddoll, keeping an eye on Hawk. “We just heard there were jewels and the like to take. We ain't but common thieves.”

“I have seen what common thieves have done to my golems outside. Those jewels you seek are the very things that give them life.”

“Well, maybe you shouldn't've left them out there to rot, aye? All covered in ivy and vines. S'like you abandoned 'em. You don't care about 'em, do you?”

Hawk reached the desk and slid carefully around it, remaining outside the chair's periphery. He waited for a breath before springing suddenly, but his blade stopped short in mid-stab. Stepping back, he lowered his blade and turned the chair around so that Roddoll could see: nothing more but the rotten corpse of an old man sat in the chair.

“Who are you?” asked Roddoll, now looking around suspiciously.

“I was once known as Corvin Reveck, and I was a revered inventor,” said the voice. One of the many automatons that lined the office walls suddenly came to life and stepped forward, shedding a heavy layer of dust as it did so.

The two bandits jumped in surprise, but quickly recovered when they saw how difficultly and awkwardly it moved. “You should not be here,” the automaton stated.

Hawk moved up to it with confident grace and planted a dagger under its chin. The automaton tried to speak more, but its jaw was immobilized. He stabbed it again, and again, and again, until it collapsed and fell apart at his feet.

“Revered inventor,” Hawk jeered.

Roddoll joined his side and the two of them began taking apart the remains of the automaton, seeking rare and expensive pieces they could sell to the highest Noxian bidders.

Neither of them noticed a second automaton shed a layer of dust and step from its plinth. To the careful eye, one could see the resemblance between this particular automaton and the young girl from the last portrait, but it would be the last thing on their mind when she finally spoke.

“He came apart – so easily,” she said, causing both men to jump.

It took them a moment to recover. “Another one,” said Roddoll with a relieved sigh.

Hawk grinned, twirling his dagger and stepping forward.

The ball's appearance took them both completely by surprise. It ran into Hawk with a violent, metallic thud, sending him toppling to the floor in an unconscious heap. As Roddoll staggered back in shock, both the ball and the automaton twirled; it, hovering in the air, she, gracefully on the tip of one foot.

Roddoll stammered. “Who are you?!”

She angled her face with a bird-like motion. “We are Orianna.” She focused on the heap of metals that was once the automaton of Corin Reveck. “We will kill your enemies, father.” The ball sprouted blades along its circumference.

“That will be fun.”


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Grand Viper

Senior Member

09-24-2012

This. I like this. I like the style, I like the pacing, it's all well done. Great short story mate.

A few nit picky things, such as "awkwardly and how difficulty it moved". It should be "how difficultly and awkwardly it moved". In my opinion that flows a bit better, just care to watch for things like that.

+1


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Empty Jack

Junior Member

09-24-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grand Viper View Post
A few nit picky things, such as "awkwardly and how difficulty it moved". It should be "how difficultly and awkwardly it moved". In my opinion that flows a bit better, just care to watch for things like that.
Thanks! I'm always looking to improve my writing, so any kind of feedback (that isn't outright insults) is welcome!


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Kenson

Senior Member

09-24-2012

o.o Is this the future? Looks interesting though!

Give me more to go off of and I would comment more, but this is a great teaser.


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Empty Jack

Junior Member

09-24-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenson View Post
o.o Is this the future? Looks interesting though!

Give me more to go off of and I would comment more, but this is a great teaser.
I see this as the period between Orianna's creation and before she joined the League. Her discovery, if you will.