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16+ Mature Content

The Stark Line: Crossing Over

by Istellur


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for mature content.

The old car was a beast that had been reconstructed from the scraps of nature, it had once seen the majesty of being free and young, but was now no more than a beast of burden. The machine had all the soul of an old horse, beaten to it's last gasps, it's tendons but nothing but threads clinging to each in the cold.

Cars are tools, horses are tools, and all tools are good. All tools, though, will rust, all tools, like anything in the world, degrade, and when they can no longer degrade, they go to death's arms. The driver would know this best, he was use to tools, their forms, their meanings, he was a slave  to them, and they were slaves to him.

He was never the strongest, but a tool could fix that. He was never the fastest, but a tool could fix that. He was never the smartest, but.... well a tool could never fix that; All a tool could do is hide it. But the same way they can fix and they can hide, they too can destroy, sometimes it's the only purpose of a tool, because a tool's only as good as it's maker.

He knows that all too well, the world bears more scars than you could ever think, and among those scars are the ones that he left, so small to the outside world, but they're the biggest ones that some people know. These scars too bear the mark of a tool, the mind, the greatest of all tools, for it is an absolute neutral, it has no good and it has no evil but what it sets for itself, and this mind was the tool of Samernson

Samernson is a strange name, even in a world of strange names, his was an oddity. It had come from a long line of names, a line that began in a time that no one remembers, one that even then waywardly wandered it's way from father to son, from land to land, from translation to butchering from man to beyond, it's found a home in him.

His father was a proud elf, but he didn't care for names. His mother, too, was a proud elf, and she did care for names. Samernson was chosen symbolically, for he was last of their children, and his many siblings held a massive seniority over him. In the many myths and tales of his people, there was once a time, long before the time of man, where elves were a venerable people, where the young were the old, and the old were the young.

Samernson was blessed and cursed by the fact that that was no longer a fact. It meant that he lived fast, but he learned quickly that when you live fast, you often live stupidly. He had lived stupidly, but he did not want to admit that there were periods when he lived maliciously, if it were up to him, those moments would be forgotten, those sins were eternal. 

But that's not how the world works.

At least, that's not how the world outside the Stark Line works.

The old car began to huff and puff as it and it's driver finally reached it's destination. The writing was firmly on the snow-covered ground, it was time for the long walk to begin. He pulled the key from the ignition, and lingered for a moment, looking beyond the ice-covered windshield, all that could be seen was a sea of burnt-out and destroyed cars.

It was time.

Samernson leaned toward the once glided dashboard of the derelict beast, pulling a briefcase out from where a passenger would lay their legs in the car. This would be his key, his shelter, and his guardian angel for the moment. He placed his fingers upon the bronze latches, he quickly snapped them open to reveal a checklist of items that he needed for his trek.

  • Handgun, .45 Auto, enough to stop a man, enough to wound a beast, enough to silence existential dread, if it got to that point.
  • A bottle of whiskey, a place offering hailing from the old South.
  • A check, made out from the royal treasure of the Lakserlend and approved, by the grace of the Gods, by Emperor Lazarrin III, Suzurain of Thunderrary, King of Illinat, Protector of Olmerir, Foreman of Deterit, and Ruler of all Elves.
  • A black and white photo depicting a man in his early 20s dressed in a uniform patterned with camouflage holding a rifle in his lap. On the back, a note, "Find me. 47°08'23.7"N 99°23'22.7"W"
  • A carton of cigarettes, made of only the finest southern tobacco. 
  • A map of the continent, cumbersome and annoying, but necessary. 

Samernson only took the handgun out of the briefcase, putting the gun into a holster that was concealed within his coat. He took the briefcase with him as he pushed his long legs onto the snow. He was tall, and somewhat lanky, his form was subtle enough to where you notice him nearby but wouldn't pay much attention to him otherwise.  His blonde hair was long and messy, but not to point of androgyny, with the top of his head being completely covered by a hat.

He took a breath before he went to the trunk of the car, making sure to keep his driver-side door wide open. Putting down the briefcase, he would open the trunk with the key before throwing it into the snowy field that was beside the road, he wasn't gonna need it anyway, and the reason why was in the trunk. 

A single can of gasoline stood undisturbed in the soft covering of the trunk. Samernson quickly took it out, unscrewing the lid on it before walking toward the still open driver-side door. He throw splashes of the clear liquid into the car, soaking it in it's entirety, before pouring out a trail into the snow around the car. 

At last, when the trail had been fully set, Samernson went to retrieve his briefcase, taking out the cigarette carton, and putting one of the cigarettes between his lips. He quickly snapped his fingers, an action that caused a single flame to appear between them. With it, he light his cigarette, before throwing the little fire towards the trail of gas, causing it to ignite. 

He stepped back as the fire grew, until it eventually concluded with a massive eruption of flames from the vehicle. He could only admire now, and think about what he had just done, the pact he had just signed, with that man in a suit and tie, that we all just happen to know. 

Samerson didn't spend a moment more watching the inferno, he merely stepped aside, and began to trek across the sea of cars, those vestiges of the men who had taken the same step he did. It was finally the beginning of the end.  


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616 Reviews


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Reviews: 616

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Sat Sep 03, 2022 10:32 am
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RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hello!

RandomTalks here with a short review!

This was a very well-written and interesting piece! It kept me invested throughout and every sentence made me feel even more apprehensive of reading the next. I think the latter feeling can be attributed to your writing style and your somber mode of narration. From the very beginning, you arrest our attention by establishing a serious atmosphere through an omniscient narration. I was not quite sure where we were heading towards, but I was very interested in finding out.

He was never the strongest, but a tool could fix that. He was never the fastest, but a tool could fix that. He was never the smartest, but.... well a tool could never fix that;

I really liked this part of the story. It tells us a lot about the character and his dependence on tools or machinery to complement those areas where he lacks. And at the same time, I like the way you have used repetition to create a kind of effect in the narration. The voice of the narrator is very strong here and it feels as though the narrator is the one directing the course of the story and not the character whom the story is about.

His father was a proud elf, but he didn't care for names. His mother, too, was a proud elf, and she did care for names.

Here, you again use repetition in a more contradictory manner but it leaves the same desired effect as before. Also, I was a little surprised at this point because I had thought the piece to be a realistic fiction (given the tone from the beginning), and the sudden introduction of 'fantasy elements' made me pause for a while.

These scars too bear the mark of a tool, the mind, the greatest of all tools, for it is an absolute neutral, it has no good and it has no evil but what it sets for itself, and this mind was the tool of Samernson

There are some sentences in the story that run on for too long and this is an example. Your writing here is very good, but the length of the sentences and the lack of proper formatting steals some of the gravitas of the content. Here, you can break the sentence like this: "These scars too bear the mark of a tool - the mind, the greatest of all tools. For it is an absolute neutral; it has no good and it has no evil but what it sets for itself, and this mind was the tool of Samernson." Also, you are missing a period at the end.

I liked the way the story ended and I could imagine it taking place very clearly in my mind. However, I feel that we did not have enough background to really enjoy the story or understand what was going on. As a result, I could not connect as much to the character or with his story. It felt as though we were missing some context, and it held us back from really immersing ourselves in the happenings of the story.

Otherwise, this was really well-written and I can totally see it being expanded into something bigger.

That's all!

Keep writing and have a great day!




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Sat Sep 03, 2022 6:30 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Okay...well this is an interesting piece here. It definitely makes you think a lot and seems like the meaning is really just buried under about four layers of meaning and a bit of context we just don't have.

Anyway let's get right to it,

The old car was a beast that had been reconstructed from the scraps of nature, it had once seen the majesty of being free and young, but was now no more than a beast of burden. The machine had all the soul of an old horse, beaten to it's last gasps, it's tendons but nothing but threads clinging to each in the cold.

Cars are tools, horses are tools, and all tools are good. All tools, though, will rust, all tools, like anything in the world, degrade, and when they can no longer degrade, they go to death's arms. The driver would know this best, he was use to tools, their forms, their meanings, he was a slave to them, and they were slaves to him.


Okay this is an interesting note to start on. The title just kind of really gives you nothing and then this opening makes it feel like we're talking about a car and now it seems like we're talking about people who drive in general. It is intriguing at the same time as it is a little bit confusing here cause its stuff that makes you think but also there appears to be no clear path this is headed in at the moment.

He was never the strongest, but a tool could fix that. He was never the fastest, but a tool could fix that. He was never the smartest, but.... well a tool could never fix that; All a tool could do is hide it. But the same way they can fix and they can hide, they too can destroy, sometimes it's the only purpose of a tool, because a tool's only as good as it's maker.

He knows that all too well, the world bears more scars than you could ever think, and among those scars are the ones that he left, so small to the outside world, but they're the biggest ones that some people know. These scars too bear the mark of a tool, the mind, the greatest of all tools, for it is an absolute neutral, it has no good and it has no evil but what it sets for itself, and this mind was the tool of Samernson


Okay...now that's an interesting change. I think by this point we're finally sort of circling towards something and that's this person who it appears all of this is being referenced to describe. At first I assume it was addressing more of a group, but not it appears to be just one person. I think its started to make just enough sense for this to really work here.

Samernson is a strange name, even in a world of strange names, his was an oddity. It had come from a long line of names, a line that began in a time that no one remembers, one that even then waywardly wandered it's way from father to son, from land to land, from translation to butchering from man to beyond, it's found a home in him.

His father was a proud elf, but he didn't care for names. His mother, too, was a proud elf, and she did care for names. Samernson was chosen symbolically, for he was last of their children, and his many siblings held a massive seniority over him. In the many myths and tales of his people, there was once a time, long before the time of man, where elves were a venerable people, where the young were the old, and the old were the young.


Ohh okay now we've got some elements of fantasy creeping into this. I did not see that coming. From the way things were at the start it seemed more like some sort of reflection on this person that would stick to just real life of sorts, but it seems we're branching out a bit more. I do like where this appears to be headed here.

Samernson was blessed and cursed by the fact that that was no longer a fact. It meant that he lived fast, but he learned quickly that when you live fast, you often live stupidly. He had lived stupidly, but he did not want to admit that there were periods when he lived maliciously, if it were up to him, those moments would be forgotten, those sins were eternal.

But that's not how the world works.

At least, that's not how the world outside the Stark Line works.


Okay...well that's a reference to the title there...I have no idea what exactly it means just yet, but I like that it seems we are finally going to be closing in on sort of the crux of the matter here. Let's see where this ends up taking us.

The old car began to huff and puff as it and it's driver finally reached it's destination. The writing was firmly on the snow-covered ground, it was time for the long walk to begin. He pulled the key from the ignition, and lingered for a moment, looking beyond the ice-covered windshield, all that could be seen was a sea of burnt-out and destroyed cars.

It was time.

Samernson leaned toward the once glided dashboard of the derelict beast, pulling a briefcase out from where a passenger would lay their legs in the car. This would be his key, his shelter, and his guardian angel for the moment. He placed his fingers upon the bronze latches, he quickly snapped them open to reveal a checklist of items that he needed for his trek.


Okay...well that's a very interesting moment here. Its still a little too mysterious for us to sort of fully graps what's happening but then that same mystery is making us want to keep reading because everything coming up here does seem to be very intriguing.

Handgun, .45 Auto, enough to stop a man, enough to wound a beast, enough to silence existential dread, if it got to that point.
A bottle of whiskey, a place offering hailing from the old South.
A check, made out from the royal treasure of the Lakserlend and approved, by the grace of the Gods, by Emperor Lazarrin III, Suzurain of Thunderrary, King of Illinat, Protector of Olmerir, Foreman of Deterit, and Ruler of all Elves.
A black and white photo depicting a man in his early 20s dressed in a uniform patterned with camouflage holding a rifle in his lap. On the back, a note, "Find me. 47°08'23.7"N 99°23'22.7"W"
A carton of cigarettes, made of only the finest southern tobacco.
A map of the continent, cumbersome and annoying, but necessary.


Okay that is a honest to goodness list of things, a list that seems like it has a bit of a story to tell here. I am now even more curious to see what this could all mean here. The more we learn about this person, it seems like the less we really know about what's going on.

Samernson only took the handgun out of the briefcase, putting the gun into a holster that was concealed within his coat. He took the briefcase with him as he pushed his long legs onto the snow. He was tall, and somewhat lanky, his form was subtle enough to where you notice him nearby but wouldn't pay much attention to him otherwise. His blonde hair was long and messy, but not to point of androgyny, with the top of his head being completely covered by a hat.

He took a breath before he went to the trunk of the car, making sure to keep his driver-side door wide open. Putting down the briefcase, he would open the trunk with the key before throwing it into the snowy field that was beside the road, he wasn't gonna need it anyway, and the reason why was in the trunk.

A single can of gasoline stood undisturbed in the soft covering of the trunk. Samernson quickly took it out, unscrewing the lid on it before walking toward the still open driver-side door. He throw splashes of the clear liquid into the car, soaking it in it's entirety, before pouring out a trail into the snow around the car.


Oh that's a very interesting sign. It seems this car is going to end up being much less useful to the situation that I was initially anticipating. Well well, things are really kicking up a notch in this one.

At last, when the trail had been fully set, Samernson went to retrieve his briefcase, taking out the cigarette carton, and putting one of the cigarettes between his lips. He quickly snapped his fingers, an action that caused a single flame to appear between them. With it, he light his cigarette, before throwing the little fire towards the trail of gas, causing it to ignite.

He stepped back as the fire grew, until it eventually concluded with a massive eruption of flames from the vehicle. He could only admire now, and think about what he had just done, the pact he had just signed, with that man in a suit and tie, that we all just happen to know.

Samerson didn't spend a moment more watching the inferno, he merely stepped aside, and began to trek across the sea of cars, those vestiges of the men who had taken the same step he did. It was finally the beginning of the end.


Okay...well that was a rather profound ending there, it almost seems metaphorical even as much as it really is quite a beautiful moment even if you take what's happening here very literally.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, an interesting piece although I would recommend maybe getting a bit of explanation across for a couple of those things because they border on being a tiny bit confusing, otherwise for a piece this size, this works really well, and especially loved the gravity this ending seemed to have.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry





while she was studying the ways of pasta he was studying the ways of the sword
— soundofmind