Description: When a string of attacks break out on the Appalachian Trail, Aaron starts a search party with a team of rangers to find the cause of it. They soon uncover the source of the attacks is the renegade punk Crock, who descends upon them to his own unknown goals!
It started before people got hurt.
Hiking up and down the trails of the Appalachians, there was a rumor spreading. Music, the howling chords of an electric guitar, was sounding across the hills. Like a music festival, that nobody was part of. Or maybe a metalhead practicing in his lodge. BUt then the rumors became of a busker lurking by the trail, dressed in dyed denim jackets and jeans, bearing a mohawk and an unpowered electric guitar, strumming it silently. Not that he was silent. He would always confront them, threaten them. When the youtube clips came up, the rumors became a reality.
And then people got hurt.
Now there was a warrant, and a warning of a strange man lurking the trails, a violent man that would attack people. Smashing them with his guitar, spitting and bullying them for no reason what so ever, before fading off into the woods. There wasn't even a pattern to the states. The most recent victim, well, victims, was a troop of boy scouts that were assaulted by the man; with ruptured eardrums and battered bodies. They heard the sound. The awful sound of the guitar man. But where did he have his power?
And who would be able to find him in the forest?
Terrain as rough and thick as this, to find anything requires scouting it.
Most any ranger would have been able pin down a man in all but the most weathered trails. The issue was the resulting state of the victims. A manhunt would have be called, but the search party would have to be well able to handle whatever threat the quarry might possess. This left manpower thin, and required volunteers. But who would be brave enough to volunteer.
The teenage Aaron Fang walked along at roughly the predetermined pace. He suckled water from his pack as walked with his ironwood walking stick, he took care to not trample live plants. He heard of the issue from the poor troop that was attacked, and he felt obligated to help in the manhunt. With so few people over such a wide area, the next searcher was as just close enough to be in earshot, but far out of sight. The scout seemed alone in the wilds
The thing was, seeing was believing.
There is a cracking sound, as a low drone rumbles under foot. The trees were shaking. But that wasn't the problem. The problem was the wildlife. You normally would hear the birds chirping in the woods, the sound of animals present. The chipping of chipmunks.
And it was all there.
Even when the awful chord is ripped out across the mountainside, not far away. The animals seemed to be comfortable with it. Close even. When a deer comes lazily out as another tremor runs deep below, the screaming of electric chords erupting out as a man -screams- in pain, it seemed almost like an illusion. Almost like a fantasy, despite being so close.
Why, it might even be within earshot.
That cord. The shock waves of sound traveled not only through the air to Aaron's ear, through the ground to his feet, but by a natural touch that he felt right to his core. As much as the animals cared not for the song, or were even calmed, Aaron was disquieted. For he knew the message the melody meant.
The Scream of pain served as accompaniment to the melody that suck his heart and brought rise to his legs as he bounded towards the source. It rang hollow of hollowness, of the endless march, calling to catacombs, unmaking. His pack bounced and splashed as he bounded over root and rock, trying to string his bow.
What disturbed Aaron most was the hints of beauty he felt in the note.
The sound falls silent.
The voice echos across the mountains. And now, the animals were now reacting, birds flying from the trees. But from the sobs of a search party member. There was footsteps now, crunching. Stomping, moving heavy. The animals were moving now, clearing away a bit. The tension was fading. And so was the screaming. The bushes split aside.
He emerges from the clearing with a snicker and a sneer.
He was a tanned man, brown skin from either his background, or from the time out in the wilds. He was dressed in ragged jeans, black for the pants, green for the jacket vest. A red mohawk of long dreads sticks from his otherwise shaved head. Hung around his neck was a rusted electric guitar, dinged up and scratched far from its red paint. He was leering out across at Aaron, as he stomped forward in his big boots. "Well well well." He growls, licking his lips. "It sounds like y'all are throwing me a swanky birthday party, ain'tcha. What's the matter, you don't like the woods being -dangerous!?-" The man strides forward, strumming on his guitar. There is no sound. The cacophony is still silent, the invisible song is still deaf. But he stares with cruel hunger at Aaron.
"God damn, does it take so long to string a FUCKING BOW!?"
There he was, the man as seen in the videos. His hair was same, and how he tickled the strings matched a same silent song. Aaron's feet stopped, but his hands kept moving. As his muscles tensed to pull the sturdy stick enough for string bind about its carved eagle beak, he ascertained and responded.
"It takes more time than for you to swear it seems sir."
He looked about trying to locate the fellow, and Aaron thought he spied movement and cries from the brush behind the busker. The situation was hot, but he would at least try to put out the fire before having to feed it. "What business do you have making this mountains more dangerous then they ought to be sir? Do you feel that you in particular should enjoy what is here for all?"
There is a spasm across the man's face.
"What the FUCK!" He chokes, froth flying from his mouth. "SIR?!" He repeats back the word like it was the most offensive slur known to man. "SIR!!??!?!" "My business right now is going to be wringing out those fucking manners out of your fucking skull!" Hatred, raw writhing hatred. His contempt was boiling from him like hot waves of outraged magma. The fire was building faster and faster, feeding off Aaron's kindess and diplomacy. "The name's Crock! That's C-Rock? And what kind of DIPSHIT BOYS SCOUT IS THIS!? You think this is MY LAND? You think this is YOUR LAND!? From California to the NEW YORK FUCKING ISLANDS?!" He was stamping towards Aaron, still strumming silently, as murderous violence was shooting daggers from his eyes. Was this really the source of that strange song?
"You think this place is MADE for YOU AND ME!? "
COMBATSYS: Crock has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Aaron has joined the fight here.
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Aaron 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Crock
The fire was lit and Aaron quickly shifted to the act of fighting it. As to fight the fire, he quickly started to open fire. He raised his strung bow upwards to aim at the violently approaching man, with no time to pull his arrows from his zipped pack.
"This place was made for us both sir." He said with disappointment in his voice. He pulled back the string sans arrow, and his fingertips shimmered in the sunlight. As he let slip the blinding bolt of light, he finished.
"But I fear you must be taken from it sir."
COMBATSYS: Aaron successfully hits Crock with Arrow of Light.
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Aaron 0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0 Crock
Every time the word was spoken, it was like nails into his chest.
Crock howls in manic fury as the boy scout keeps using his manners again and again, like hammers upon those nails. "SIR! SIR! SIR!" He babbles back madly. It delays him long enough for Aaron to take his shot, and for a moment, the punk seems to be content to just force through it.
But the bolt is too much.
Stunned and staggering back, the bolt seems to suppress him for a moment. Snarling, he repeats the words again, as if egging himself on. "SIR SIR SIR! You are some kind of SLAVE to SOCIETY AREN'T YOU! You are a cucking slumlord LICKING THE BOOTS of your MASTERS!" He roars as he flings himself at Aaron. Literally. Jerking his whole body, he leaps at Aaron with the grace and force of a rag doll, attempting to slam his battered guitar hard into the young man's chest.
"ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A MASTER!?"
COMBATSYS: Crock successfully hits Aaron with Power Strike.
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Aaron 0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0 Crock
The mocking cries of sir are familiar to Aaron. Now is just the first time it is attributed to an adult as opposed to an eleven year old. Nor is it the first time one such individual tried striking him with something. Now is just the first time it had the weight of a guitar and the power of a fully grown man.
Aaron was slammed down into rocky soil, disturbing grass with shallow roots. From the dirt, he spoke back with defiance. "I would rather that than be a slave to wild whims and brutish base sir." He pulled himself back to a stand by his walking stick. "By discipline one is their own master, not to heel by the crowd nor your own nature." He gripped the stave with both his hands. "Could you imagine a world with no such honor sir? Men worst than beasts with their cruelty?". Upright and at attention, he sought to strike with his staff right back to his elder's sternum.
"Are you even your own Master!"
COMBATSYS: Crock blocks Aaron's Power Strike.
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Aaron 0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0 Crock
"SIR! SIR! SIR!"
The insult screams from the lips of Crock as he full force checks Aaron, the madness of the manners driving him into a greater frenzy. And then, when the boy throws the question at him, along with swiping the staff too? He actually brings his guitar back up, taking a whack up on his face. Nose bloodied, but otherwise steady, the fire around him seems to go out.
But that sneer still smolders on his lips.
"No." He states with an almost ashamed growl, his frenzy supressed. "I'm not even that. I serve a higher power, one that's past any man. And I want that world, where we act like the animals we are, where we take that cruelty over the fake and phony cruelty we have now! Even this mountain isn't SAFE from those FUCKING PEOPLE." He stumbles a bit, before he rushes at the boy scout. Lashing his arm out, he would try and grab the boy, and try and head butt him again and again, all while talking. "You know how much TRASH I've had to pick up here? You know how many BRANCHES were torn off?" He would finish the head butts with a slam into the earth, the very ground bursting up into spikes if he managed to throw Aaron down.
If he managed to get to the head butts, even.
COMBATSYS: Crock knocks away Aaron with Hot To Haughty Hollow Hammer Teeth.
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Aaron 1/----===/=======|====---\-------\0 Crock
The poor boy is grabbed, unable to slip away. The headbutts arrive with no objections as one face is bloodied while the forehead is painted red. It was the slam into the earth that painted a different picture for Aaron.
Earth shot up in spikes at him with such speed and force that he was shot right back up. He tumbled through the air, then through the brush, then the ground. He came to a stop upon hitting a large stone. He gazed back at his attacker, more savage than his song could have told. He pulled himself up by the rock, and felt its warmth. He turned back to the man in the distance and spoke. "I do know how much, and I have seen how many." He unzipped his pack to reveal bags of litter he collected, as well as is arrows. "But why do you think I do what I do? to prevent this as much as I can." The scout tried to feel the song writer from that stone. "By discipline we might keep this mountain safe from what we have both seen, yet not be the beast." He removed the arrows and zipped back the bag. He thought he could feel the beat reverberate and tried himself a hum more harmonious rather than harmful.
"Can you not listen for a song we can all sing, a better song Mr. C-Rock?"
COMBATSYS: Aaron takes aim.
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Aaron 1/--=====/=======|====---\-------\0 Crock
He had his own song.
Crock breathes hard, his chest still burning from the arrow of light, blood still running down his nose. But he was grinning, as he launched the boy back. He enjoyed hurting the kid, he enjoyed fighting. And yet, when he saw the garbage can, the litter, that smirk faded into a grimace. He steadies his guitar, as Aaron begins to draw out an arrow. He plucks at the strings of the guitar, as he draws in a breath, draws into that sweet beat underneath.
And the guitar begins to sound.
It's a harsh strumming, the energy reverbating off it. Not within the planet yet, but from within him, within his bones. The wave of energy passes over Aaron, flashing over the boy scout, passing him at the speed of sound as it heads to the mountain valleys across the forest. But the energy underneath was as pure as what was before, more pure than even the breaking of the earth. Pure, and cruel. There was a hostility in it, and it was not directed at nature. Crock glowers at Aaron, keeping his distance, as he continues to strum. "There is only one song worth singing, Sir Asshole." He growls. "It's the song that's going to destroy every single one of these cities, every single one of those corporate jungles, every single one of those concrete prisons that mar the landscape. You know the planet doesn't want a cleaning crew. It wants pest control. And I'm the pesticide for the human cockroaches scurrying it. We are way past time for a vaccine for this disease. It's time for a cure! And you know it..." The wave of energy returns, reverbating back as it passes over Aaron harmlessly. Returning back to Crock. He readies another chord, to launch it back.
To prepare for the initiation.
COMBATSYS: Crock charges his next attack!
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Aaron 1/--=====/=======|=======\-------\0 Crock
The guitar plays its spite while the scout tries to sing his solace. Two songs sharing a beat, saying separate things. Aaron took one his arrows, and gazed upon it. It vibrated so slightly, like tuning fork. He pulled it back on his bow as he lined it up to the guitar player.
"Is hope for inoculation so poor? But hope for cure so great? That beat is steady, I don't think nay noise is able to stop it, I trust that." The slight vibration of the arrow let off a faint red glow. When let loose, it sang with a whistle to pierce the guitar's noise.
Then came eleven more whistling notes. Twelve arrows, singing in harmony a song OF harmony. Red lights shining from a one man volley that sounded of a one man band.
COMBATSYS: Aaron successfully hits Crock with Empowered Scout's Law EX.
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Aaron 0/-------/-------|=======\==-----\1 Crock
Crock tries to stand fast in the face of the barrage.
As the arrow is let loose, he gives a sudden stomp. A rock wall bursts up, intercepting the first arrow. Sneering over it, the wave of invisible energy spreads out again, even larger than before. The sneer fades as 11 more arrows come. Crock tries to keep cover, tries to avoid his missteps. But as the arrows arch around the cover, he takes shot after shot, groaning as he forces himself to keep strumming. "You just don't get it. I -am- curing this disease. Those people are the germs! The sickness! And you are trying to save them. You think you are some kind of hero, -sir?!- You are just grooming the planet until you are ready to FORCE YOUR WAY!" The energy wave comes back. And he draws back a clawed finger, ready to drop it with a final chord.
And then, the energy is unleashed.
A single chord comes out, attempting to send Aaron hurtling into the air. And there, he would begin to riff. His fingers dancing along the strings of the guitar, as the sonic energy would draw out stone shards in thin streams from the earth. There, each note, each part of the melody would ebb and flow as it tore into the boy scout with a cacophony of anguish, of hate, of purity. And only when he reached the end of it, with the song echoing across the blue mountains, would Aaron be released from the rock and roll barrage.
With Crock breathing heavily at his symphony of pain.
COMBATSYS: Crock successfully hits Aaron with Empowered You're Harmful To Minors Mister Yuck.
- Power hit! -
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Aaron 0/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0 Crock
When the whistles stop, Aaron's world is literally rocked. He tried as he could to cover his ears from the rock music. But just as before, the played into his soul. As he was unbound from the earth joining the airborn shards, sights of the song flashed before his eyes. He saw great towers of Metro City crumbling, rotting, hollow. The people bellow fled and cowered, being hunted like rabbits. The foxes and wolves of his memories and nightmares stalked in the dark unlit nights. He recalled the faces he couldn't save. The song ended, Aaron was shook. He looked back to the panting player with an emotion he seldom showed.
"If I do not try to be the hero sir, who will?" He charged back at Crock, bow stretched out wide. "Certainly not you sir!". Distance closing, his right hand would swing the club in a wide arc. His left hand would lunge for a trio of impaled arrows, to pull them out messily.
COMBATSYS: Aaron successfully hits Crock with Scout Salute.
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Aaron 1/-------/=======|=======\-------\1 Crock
The guitar falls silent again.
With the energy reverbing, there was a cold, calculating gaze from Crock, as the aftermath of his musical assault leaves the boy scout floors. That gaze snaps as suddenly, Aaron floors it, bolting at him with the bow. He lets out a moan of pain as he is slammed hard in the chest. When the arrows are jerked out, he actually screams in pain, recoiling away as he falls to one knee. Blood. The kid made him bleed. He was serious, damn serious. Gritting his teeth, the punk rises up, leveling out his guitar.
And he begins to play it once more.
"The real heroes," Crock begins, as he starts to strum. "The real heroes are the honest men and women and in between that make their stands in the hearts of every miserable city. You're no hero. You're just an errand boy. You're just a slave to the powers that be! And after we get done, there will be no more heroes like you. Only the real heroes that are the ones who keep this planet free! We're going to destroy this world, and what will be rebuilt on it will be more beautiful than anything you can ever imagine!" The invisible wave of energy passes through again, as the man builds with that song once more. "Don't chase after us!"
"You should be out there beating every man, woman, and child that soils the earth!"
COMBATSYS: Crock charges his next attack!
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Aaron 1/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1 Crock
Aaron recalled the stands he saw made in the heart of a miserable city. Real stands, stands to survive or lacking that, to protect. He had always doubted if he was a hero, he was one of the ones who survived. But this man before him, he was not talking of the heroes Aaron knew. As he stood and strum, Aaron responded. "If you burn what you think is corruption within, what will stop the corruption without? Have you seen the nightmares that look upon us like hungry coyotes." Aaron began another brief sprint.
"All that you seek will only bind the earth in hungry chains, I want to keep the planet free from the hunters without! There are things you can beat that are far worse than men, women, and children."
Closed in on Crock, Aaron pressed down his stave to vault right over the guitar player. In his hand the three blood red arrows pulled from Crock's front. Flipping over, he would return the trio to the rocker's back, red with passion as well as blood.
COMBATSYS: Crock fails to interrupt Fleur De Lis EX from Aaron with Empowered Screwball For The Lazy Eye.
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Aaron 0/-------/------=|=======\====---\1 Crock
Crock would have let that miserable city burn.
As he charges up, the wave of sonic energy comes back, the cacophony drone building. Aaron lunges at him, and he slams his chord right in the timing of the wave. A pillar of stone explodes straight up, a wave of sonic energy boiling up with it. It grazes Aaron, but... he was not vaulting at Crock. He was vaulting over the punk. And that sneer is wiped off his face as he screams, the arrows driven into his back. Lurching forward, he leans against the pillar he shaped. He was mad, real mad.
But Aaron did make a point.
"Yeah. I've seen them. They are bitches and assholes." He shoves off the pillar, turning to face Aaron. "Fucking bitches, and fucking assholes. They will all die too. Every single one of them. No more monsters, no more awful humans. Just peace and harmony." He staggers back up. "I can't go after them though. I can't." Rage comes across his pierced face, but it's a strained one.
"THEY WON'T LET ME!"
Aaron makes his landing from the vault and turns back to face Crock. He saw him lean up against the pillar, just talking. Considering his words, his respectable words, Aaron once again tried one last time to smother the fire.
"But are you a man who won't something simply because they won't let you?"
The scout picked up the first arrow, the one that was deflected, and continued. "You stand here on a planet surrounded by enemies, but you make new ones from within. If you want the monsters to die, is it not better to stand with the humans until then." The scout once again tried to feel that beat, to try and bring the two songs back to harmony. "Mankind will stand with you against the monsters, but the monsters will not return that kindness. It is better to focus on the wolf closest to the sled, and the damage to nature is a far slower beast." He notched the arrow to his bow, preparing if the choir broke.
"It is better to work together on what we agree today so tomorrow we might afford the luxury to disagree."
COMBATSYS: Aaron takes aim.
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Aaron 0/-------/---====|=======\====---\1 Crock
Crock's expression changes, as the boy begins to notch an arrow.
There was that song again. That cry of the planet. But it was in harmony now. There was now more than one singer. A chorus plays, and that seems to charge the punk's heart. He takes a step, gripping the neck of his guitar. He seemed to be... focused on something.
Something far away, and so close.
"We are working together now." The man says savagely, as he walks towards Aaron. Faster. Faster. He approaches Aaron faster and faster, descending at him. He leaps into the air, both legs out, to unleash a double drop kick straight into the boy scout.
"You'll understand why soon enough."
COMBATSYS: Aaron dodges Crock's Strong Kick.
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Aaron 0/-------/---====|=======\====---\1 Crock
For a moment, the song was oh so sweet. There was agreement, the pit was cooling. But then it felt like the song skipped a beat, a scratch on the record. Crock was coming forward with speed and savagery. When he jumped forwards, Aaron jumped to the side. He pulled back his arrow, but the color was off. Not the burning red and blinding light, but a painful strobe light flash between the two.
The arrow flew to the rocker, the colors steadying just near the front, in a blade like fashion.
COMBATSYS: Aaron successfully hits Crock with Empowered Order of the Arrow.
- Power hit! -
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Aaron 0/-------/--=====|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Crock
The arrow changed for the better, in a sense.
The arrow is released as Crock rises up from his dropkick. He never turns around to see it. It cuts straight through his body from the back, penetrating it as it slices through. He gasps, as he looks down at his chest, at the exit wound there. He gags, blood coming from his mouth. He grips his guitar, bloodied. Smiling.
And he begins to strum.
Sonic energy crackles in the air, as the earth around him begins to rise, shard by shard. "Graagh! GRAAGh! I knew it boy! You are part of it now! SIR!" He screams, as he slams his hand down, unleashing a chord. There is a explosion, as stone and sonic energy explodes around him in a sphere shape, exploding around him as it bursts with deafening force.
Though only acting as a strong breeze to the trees themselves
COMBATSYS: Crock can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Aaron blocks Crock's WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!.
[ \\\\ <
When the arrow not only pierces, but shoots clean through, Aaron grew worried. What was that change, why was it so sudden, and why could he no longer feel it. His questions were interrupted by that billowing blast. He tried to take cover, but the cord caught him first. He saw the city again, another stand of heroes. Around him others were falling, he was on the broken cement, bleeding. The hunter was drawing close, hungry. The dark jaws drew ever closer.
But he did not die a hero that day.
The scout grabbed his water pack and sprayed his face down with the water, lapping it up along with all the dirt and debris. He would not give into this song, he would not give into Oblivion.
COMBATSYS: Aaron takes no action.
COMBATSYS: Aaron can no longer fight.
But resolve alone could not save him.
There is the ringing sound, follow by the chirping of birds.
The ranger arrives, the third member of the search party. He finds Aaron, and responds quickly, rushing to him, inspecting him, and making sure not to move his neck much. As he quickly inventories first aid, he makes a call on his walkie-talkie. "I need a medvac here, now! I can't find Jerry still, I just found Aaron, and-"
And he looks at Crock.
The man was twisted, his guitar blown apart. HIs body was bloodied filled with arrows. The ranger understood, looking at Aaron briefly. BUt it was the smile on the punks face that was wrong. That grin. "... And get some zipties too." He continues on the walkietalkie.
"Aaron found our psychopath, and nailed him down."
Log created on 20:39:20 03/17/2021 by Crock, and last modified on 10:34:28 03/19/2021.