Penumbra: Something New (Part 2 of 3)

Ron rolled out the window of his first floor bedroom. Sword in hand he fell down onto the hedge just outside and rolled straight out. The sword kept shouting at him as he charged forward. His legs tightened, his breath came short and loud, and he fell flat on his face. 

“Stay down!” The sword boomed in his ears. Something hot raced over his back. “Good news or bad news first?” 

“Good news.” Ron grunted. 

“We found the monster! Also, now it’s not trying to kill it’s original target!” The sword gleefully reported. 

“What’s the bad news?” 

“Well you’re outgunned and its trying to kill you.” Pebbles bounced as something drew near. “Roll right! Run to cover!” Ron’s body obeyed. An instant later, a taloned foot smashed the earth he had been in. His legs got him up and he stumbled across the street and behind a car. He glanced in the car mirror and saw the beast. It was almost ten feet tall, but it was hunched over. Two long forelimbs hung down to the ground. Long, straight claws extended from the beast’s paws. The claws flicked and glittered in the street light, each looked as long as a man’s forearm. The long legs reminded Ron of a bird, a colossal death bird. They were long and thin with large knobby knees. The body was a red mass of muscle, like a massive body builder’s. It turned towards him, and Ron watched a green drop roll off of the razor sharp teeth. The drop slipped to the ground and a cloud of steam rippled up. The face was reptilian, razor sharp fangs stuck out of it’s long snout. The beast flipped it’s face up and sniffed. A long grey tongue flashed in the air. 

Run fool. 

“That’s him.” The sword spoke. 

“I know. I should run.” 

Yes run. Run and don’t die.

“No the thoughts. That’s him.” 

“Huh?”

“He’s feeding you thoughts. He’s in your mind.” 

Get out. You’re no hero. Run away. Stupid nerd. 

“What do you want?” The sword asked coldly. “That thing might kill you if you fight it.”

“It will definitely kill me.” 

“No, only probably. I’ve seen boys kill Giants with just a sling and stone.” Ron gripped the blade tight. “If you run though, it will definitely kill you. Slowly, day by day. It’ll Ron you of the life worth living.” 

“My life isn’t worth living.” He stared down at the sharp edge he’d made. He was the only one who knew it was that way. 

“No, tonight that life ends, or you do. Or both do. You want to give up? Or do you want something more. You’ve got nothing to lose by dying, your life sucks. You’ve got all the hope in the world if you fight. Choice is yours rookie.” 

By TKH Hamilton

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Penumbra: Something New (part 1 of 3)

The keep’s gates slammed shut with a thud. The lock secured with a click. The windows were sealed, and the blinds were drawn. The citadel was impregnable, exactly as the keeper liked it. He deposited himself into the desk chair, a sigh dropping out of him. He wiped his eyes and fired up the computer. A finger scratched at the flab on his body as the portal coalesced. 

Troskar the valiant raged for hours against the hordes of evil. Every swing of his great axe saved a village. Every battle cry pushed back the darkness. Eventually though, hands cramped and stomach grumbled. Ron the nerd slumped back in his chair. The virtual world dissipated and the silence of his dark room flowed over him. He stretched his hands and activated his phone. He stared at the blank home screen for a while. His wrist flipped angst and phone in a lazy arc onto the bed. 

Pitiful. 

Ron stared up at the ceiling. He really was pitiful. The clock rang out ten long blows as he stared. 

“Maybe you should get up.” Something whispered at him. Ron shook his head. He was tired. He’d played so long he was hearing things. 

“Would a walk be that bad?” Ron looked around. His room sat undisturbed. Dozens of action figures stood neatly on shelves. Hundreds of volumes of manga and comics filled the rest of his shelves. His dresser had a few replica props on it, all immaculately clean. 

“You know exactly where I am Ron.” The voice patiently spoke. Ron slowly swiveled his chair and looked at his desk. On the work station beside him, lay a long and dirty bundle of rags. He unwound it and examined the contents. 

“Too slow rookie.” The sword spoke in his head. Ron’s body flew backwards and the chair went flying. His head smacked the bed and his butt slammed into the ground. 

“No I’m hallucinating.” Ron grumbled and rubbed his head. “It’s all a dream.” 

“I wish.” The sword smiled. Ron had no idea what was going on. “Well pick up the sword, don some armor, and let’s go.” 

“Right cause I should listen to my hallucinations.” Ron turned towards the inhaler on his dresser. A scream ripped through the night air. Ron reached out and grabbed the blade. His body dropped into a fighting stance. 

“Finally!” The sword shouted. Ron shuddered as something raced through him. “Let’s go! Don’t you want to be a hero?” The two stood in silence. Ron clutching the sword and the sword clutching him. 

“Yeah.” He tightened his grip and looked down at it. 

“Then let’s go rookie!” 

“Kinda stuck.” Knees knocked together in weakness. 

“HELP ME!” A scream ripped through the night. 

“Now or never Rookie.”

By TKH Hamilton

Penumbra: Questions (part 2 of 2)

“That would be well worth the eight power cores.” The Administrator responded calmly.

“Todersfurcht. He’s working with someone. Not manipulating them but he’s a partner.” E stated and crossed his arms. The screens stood silent. 

“The question you don’t know to ask is not why these two are working together. Rather the question is who has the power to force eight others like them to work together?” 

“Well who does?” Julia asked with her arms folded. 

“In all the circles I run in, Miss Shepherd, I haven’t met anyone. That should terrify you. If a player that big has eluded me for so long it’s terrifying to think of what else they are capable of.” 

“Answers Admin.” Snapped E as he dug his fingers into his arm. His teeth were clenched as he glared at the screen nearest to him.

“The code name he goes by is CEO.” The Administrator whispered. “Whoever and whatever he is, that’s the only thing anyone my agents have ever captured has given up. They probably don’t know anyways. I don’t want to intentionally take anyone who might know something, because frankly, this guy scares the shit out of me. If you on the other hand could take Todersfurcht, I’d be happy to give you a hand in the… interrogation.”

“I’m not sure that’s worth eight dream cores.” E grumbled. The room went silent. 

“The CEO is based in one of seven cities. Every drone and satellite taken out in the last six months was over one of seven cities. Seattle and Charleston were the only domestic ones. I was able to reestablish coverage, but I’d rather not tread on his turf any more than I have to.” The room went silent. “Here’s a free one. Agent Green is working with an organization known as The Stewards. They were allies with Penumbra in the last major war fought in. If it comes to open war, she’s still on your side. Σ might like that, or hate it.” 

“How about you Administrator?” E asked. The Administrator laughed. The briefcase glowed and then with a pop vanished. 

“It’s been a pleasure doing business, Sir Lancelot.” With that the two agents were left with the same images of soothing landscapes. 
By TKH Hamilton

Penumbra: Questions (part 1of 2)

The strip of stores that made up Main Street Smallfield squatted in the darkness. Around midnight, only a half dozen street lamps and a single storefront illuminated the dinginess of the night. A single man sat behind the counter of the electronics store reading. He barely looked up as two young people in dark coats and hats stepped into the neon light of the storefront sign. The ding of the bell made the man look up as one of the figures stepped in the doorway.

“Can I help you?” The man said gruffly and dropped his magazine with a thud. He glanced at the man and the woman as they walked up to him.

“I would like to speak to the Administrator.” The man said as he drew a badge out of his coat. The girl examined the stacks of televisions that were on a loop of soothing images. The man blinked hard and shook his

“Sorry buddy the manager went home hours ago.” The worker said and shrugged.

“I would like to speak to the Administrator.” The man repeated sternly.

“Dude, I’ve got no idea what your talking about.” He said and moved for the silent alarm.

“I would like to speak to the Administrator.” The man said again. The worker froze. His eyes glazed over and his voice changed. It jumped up to a gentle female voice.

“Please hold for the Administrator.” It spoke politely. The girl flinched as the android did so. Suddenly three rings like an old telephone came from all the televisions. The image on the screen changed to a simple silhouette of a man from the shoulders up appeared on them. The words “Admin. Intelligence Inc.” was above the head. 

“Lancelot!” The voice was distinctly mechanical, it was a deep brassy voice that seemed to come from all the screens. As it spoke the audio wave forms appeared below the image. “How can I help one of my favorite customers today?” 

“First off, this one’s busted. Nearly had to blow it’s head off.” E took his hat off and thumbed at the android. 

“Hmmmm.” The voice said before going silent. “Optics are out of alignment. I apologize Sir Lancelot, I’ll have someone fix the unit. I do hope you’re still willing to do business tonight?” The voice asked politely and much more businesslike. 

“Agent Σ.” E stated flatly and gestured for the other agent to step out. 

“Still in the Pacific, but that’s hardly something you’d need to come to me for.” E said nothing. “Look I’ll cut you slack on this one, since I know you have more to ask me. Your buddy Bedivere hasn’t come back into my sight. There are fifteen different places he could be. Pick one. Now for the real business.” The voice was curt and the background tinged red. The bell rang as the other agent returned with a thick silver briefcase with the Penumbra candle emblazoned on both sides. The screens all turned green as the other agent entered. “How rude of me!” The voice declared. “Miss Shepherd I’m the Administrator. I’d extend a hand to shake but, well the android is out of commission.” 

“A pleasure to meet you.” Julia said with a bow towards the screen E was facing. She looked a little surprised that the Administrator knew her name. 

“I’m in the business of intelligence. I make it a point to know secrets. Be they the secrets of; governments, businesses, supernatural societies, or individuals. I firmly believe that a secret is only valuable if you know the people telling, and keeping it. As such, I learned your name Miss Shepherd.” 

“His business is in the sale of espionage.” 

“To the highest bidder.” Chimed the voice. “Speaking of which, show me the goods Lancelot.” E simply pointed at the counter and Julia placed the briefcase on it. E flipped the two latches and opened the case. A soft humming noise filled the room as a gentle white light emanated from eight tubes in the case. Each looked like a fluorescent light bulb and glowed like one. A soft whistling noise came from the screens.

“Those are dream essence cores. The second most powerful metaphysical energy source. Enough to run your operation for a year.”

“Now Lancelot.” The voice went back to its business like mode and the screens turned green again. “What in the world would you want from me that you’d pay like this?” 

“Answers. I want answers to questions I don’t know to ask. This is enough payment that you won’t screw me.” E snarled. 

By TKH Hamilton 

Penumbra: Series synopsis and recap

Beware! Spoilers ahead! This contains the plot overview of season one. If you don’t care about spoilers and want to jump on in, be my guest. If not its all good. 
What is Penumbra? (spoiler free!)
As long as there were beds, monsters were hidden under them. As long as there have been closets, creatures lurked there. As long as there has been night, there have been things that go bump in it. Sometimes, often times, it’s just your imagination. Simply the wind, or your house settling. Sometimes it’s not. 
Our fears can grow. If you don’t do anything about it, your fears build and build. They fester like a sore, they grow like decaying garbage. Most of the time this fear just weighs like a fog. Slowly crushing and squeezing the life out of you. Other times, your mind gives it form. It hijacks your imagination and forces you to give it a self. The wilder the imagination, the greater the beast. That’s why kids are afraid of the things in the dark. You can’t see what form you’ve given it, until it’s too late. 
As long as there have been monsters, there have been monster stories. As long as there have been monster stories, there have been stories of heroes. As long as their have been stories of heroes, there have been heroes. Groups which fought the monsters in the dark. During the day they go about giving hope. Little bits of strength. You’d never know that these are the heirs of the archetypes, the adopted children of the greatest heroes. At night they go and hunt down the monsters, wherever they may be. And when dawn comes, the rescued wake. A little freer, and none the wiser. Or they remember, and one day the heroes return and the mantle passes. These are the Penumbra, the edge of the shadow. Your first, last, and only line of defense against the horrors of the night. 
How do I know this? Well I’m a narrator. It’s my job to tell the stories. My job to make sure the stories of heroes are still around. Cause the monsters aren’t going away, you need all the heroes you can get. 
Spoilers ahead
So I’ve been telling a story. A story that starts in Smallfield Illinois. Two young men drive out the monsters in the dark. From dragons to vampires, agents Σ and Ε go toe to toe with the forces of darkness. They fight alongside Clark, the superhuman disguised as a mild mannered high schooler, and Agent Orange, the enthusiastic wild child of the group. One night, the martial arts instructor Julia Shepherd is dragged into the world of nightmares. Assaulted in the night by a werewolf, Julia fights to defend herself. Prevailing in the desperate fight for her life, and the life of a student, she is inducted into the ranks by Agents Σ and Ε.
Drawn into the whirlwind of her new life, Julia discovers a world unlike anything she’s ever known. Training under the tormented and enigmatic Σ,   and cultivating a friendship with Orange become daily reality. 
Then tragedy strikes. Σ incapacitates Clark in a training match, using his own technology and magic. While weakened, the team responds to an unnaturally high amount of raw fear. Upon further investigation the team encounters Baton Von Todersfurcht, and his plot to manufacture raw fear. The Baron and his lackeys engage the agents, wounding Julia. Σ however uses magic to take a near lethal blow for Julia. By the next day, Σ leaves for the Pacific to remove the curse he absorbed. 
The bad guys have gathered together and are plotting to take over the world. Todersfurcht and the mysterious Jim have been tasked by their dark overlord CEO to carry out the destruction of Smallfield.

TLDR: There are monsters in the dark, and the Penmubra agency stands against them!

Penumbra Season 2!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and girls! Friends, foes, and the Internet! 

I have good news for my loyal followers! Penumbra season Two begins updating Tuesday! That’s right my hiatus is over. For a variety of reasons, the main one being my new schedule with school, I haven’t been writing or posting. However, a good story demands to be told. I can’t just let my many thousands of words go unread, or at least give them a chance at an audience. So, without further Ado I shall be giving you Penumbra, season two. It will update every Tuesday and Thursday still. I hope you enjoy it.

So, that said, poetry and nonfiction are on the back burner. I don’t have the time to do everything. But I do have the time to do some things. My focus is on school then Penumbra, and if I have time, poetry. 

Sincerely,

TKH Hamilton