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As the few who has followed me, I came up with a story just over a year ago. It started out as a crazy dream about bugs riding atop of other bugs fighting other bugs. It was set in 2005 Goodyear Arizona during the housing bubble crash. In which bugs and animals would fight over the foreclosed houses for land and territory. It was basically a World War for bugs. Now after some time, I changed the world around, so now it takes place in a sami fantasy setting with historical parallels to the 1900s. The world inspired by a combination of "Peace on Earth", "There Will Come Soft Rains", "The Idiot", "Zorro" and "Big O", fused with the idea of growing up in a world of uncertainty.

So I am rolling out my poorly written and grammar laden second draft.  

Also those who enjoy history, hope you like the not so subtle ref to the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like The Barren is inspired by The Eurasian Steppes, South Africa, and the American Southwest. The Sun Empire is basically the German, Russian, and British Empire. The Antennomac is France combined with the Balkans. "The Mass Levy Wars" was the Napoleonic Wars. Citrus Isles is the West Indies, the Torrent is South America. The Baja Imperial line is the "Panama Canel". The Belt is Spain fused with Russia. Even the names The Grand Empress mentioned is  "Kaiser Wilhelm". "Stone Face" is not so subtle "Crazy Horse", "Mountain River" is "Geronimo". Also the Prairie Dogs in the story is a metaphore for Native Americans.

Also not all is serious, I added a bunch of stupid jokes such as a few refs to "Zardoz" I will add a bunch of more fun stuff as the story goes on...            

Chapter Five Continuation...
 
“Yes sorry, I had to get my mind in order. During the Frist Palazzo Conflict which lasted from fifteen Twenty-five to Thirty-two, in which the Ant Sisterhoods and Principality fought among themselves following a severe Drought which lead to the Dust Storms, we know to-day as “Valley of the Winds”. The conflict itself was also a combination of third generation of Victorian settlers being pushed into the interior following Coin and Belt expansion polices that would force them into wide-open lands and dead zones of the Barren. Many of the Victorian had ancestors was forced out of Victoria following Halden’s Invasion of the Firebird Sea during the Mass Levy wars which occurred in the late Fourteen hundreds. Prior they had lived along the bordered regions of the Barren until Fifteen Fifteen when they move further inland to avoid the Coin and Belt. There the Settlers encountered a huge domain of Princes and nobles that lived in fortified towns along the fertile regions of the barren. They lived off Tribute and taxes form the local population.

 

Other groups in the Barren included Independent Sisterhood Confederations, which had a complex system that lacked any single ruler or government as opposed to the Monarchs in the East. The Sisterhoods had mutual alliances with other groups. Groups in the East were more of a nomadic type group that lived off raiding and abductions for profit, which would force the Western Solstice Empire to pacify the region and later lead to the war with Palo in Fifteen Sixteen. As one would expect war came to the Barren, Many of the Settlers used its Commandos and imports of guns to fight with the locals. They would form alliances with one-group then shift alliances. Out the Mess the Republics were formed.

 

 Around that same in the East following the Palo-Solstice War, many of the displaced refugees crossed the Emerald River and moved westward. There they would clash with more groups and the few remaining Natives that had been forced to exile out of the Solsitce. Because of this this lead the Princes to hired the profit hungry companies of the Coin and Belt. When money ran low they granted favors and concessions to do trade with the houses, deals they would regret in second Palazzo.

 

A prince name Francisco formally of Mercury, faced an invading army of settlers and Merchant armies from the East and West. Support a group called “Black Arrow”. This Partisan group originally comprised of former members of the conservative party “Passage Estate”. This group was forced out of Palo after the Suns Pacification Conflicts turned many of their allies against them.

 

Natives from Black Hawk in Eastern Sierra Estrella would later join the group after they where forced out by Sun settlers. Lastly the group would also have Victorian Settlers that did not agree with the Coin’s Colonialism Monopolies as it deprived them of their farms. Together the group would use hit and run tactics that would make them legendary. And with Francisco’s support they would become a force to reckon with.

 

As the Seasons past the group would gain vast reserves of loot from their rivals making both the group and Prince vastly wealthy. When Francisco’s adversaries were plotting his assassination. Knowing this he then moved his treasury into Sierra Estrella. Plenty of evidence including the royal pipe rolls mentioned the movement of vast quantities of silver and other artifacts. Including an object known as “Snowfall”. A large diamond so clear, that when shown to the light it’s reflection made a room glow as if it was snowing. But the records are convoluted and unreliable.

 

In my travels, I came to piece the notion that sometime before Thirty-One Black Arrow attacked a military supply column near Colfax. While going through the manifest, they came across the object. How it came into the hands of the Sun Imperial army is a mystery, How Francisco was able to have the group hand it over is also unclear. What I can say, it was a relic from the First world. After Francisco palace’s brunt down, rumors began to spread that the object sent a beam of light into the nearby mountains destroying them. The heat of the object lit aflame his home. Scared what he have found, he sent the object away. Fearing such power would allow anyone to become the masters of land, while becoming slaves to the object themselves.”      

 

Mrs. Lochner placed her hands in her pockets and gave Rubin a half smile.

 

“I can see why it drew the desperate into finding it. Mr. Rubin what if I were to say we came across a key that can help unlock the secrets relating to the whereabouts of this gem. However we lack the appropriate measures to accurately find the exact place. You might have that information we need to complete the puzzle.”

 

“Wait! You have a Key? Huh, I can now see why Calista or that gang is raising such hell. Rubin said in complete shocked, which forced him to nearly drop his water.

 

“We might have borrowed it from her.” Mrs. Lochner said trying to cover her rash actions.

 

“An old Partisan has her pride that you tested to see how far it goes. So how long has she been chasing your group after you “borrowed” her key?”

 

Mrs. Lochner fell silent for a long time before saying, “That is the fault of my predecessor Professor Tohm Kosse, he thought he could push his way around with the local groups. I recently found out that he stole an object prior to his departure form back East. It turns out spending eight seasons at Solar University fused by a bravado attitude did not farewell with the bitterness of the Barren. You caught a glimpse at his ambitions in that first letter. I believe that he acquired the object from a trove back East, which belonged to Calista’s Mother before it was stolen and taken away.”

 

“Does anyone else know what he stole? Or how did Calista found about that item stolen from her Mother had again returned to the Barren?” Asked Rubin.

 

Mrs. Lochner looked down at her hands, “No… I was going through his mess of notes, and found out that the Key came with him on his journey West. I do not know how Calista found out about the Key.

 

 About a month ago, he was killed at his home in Gila. He had just returned from a meeting with Calista, of what matters is unknown. Miss. Hayloft had just arrived at his home from Arbo to see why he did not submit a weekly report. Then they were both attacked. Miss. Hayloft barely survived the attack; she took on several wasps including a Land Fortress. She was able to kill most of the attackers; to her shock and ours, they also wore Red Mask and spouted the name “Montague”. The trauma of that event has affected Miss. Hayloft’s frail mind, perhaps explains her current behavior. Currently the Board thinks she is no longer suitable to help lead the expedition. The group I represent, has a thing for the bug, so they placed her on minor intelligence duty. Tohm’s death and Miss. Hayloft’s trauma has been a huge set back for our own operations. Most of his evidence was also stolen, which might also have to do with the same attack on you in Baja. Also his head was never found. His secret affairs seemed to have been messing with the wrong groups, ones we were not aware of. Due to current matters, the Key is in a safe place. We will pick it up along the way I dare not kept with me…”

 

“The Partisans.” Rubin said realizing she work with a group that had intellect though lacked the sense when not to aggravate individuals. Especially the bitter partisans in the Barren, who all had a sense of pride over capital persuasion none more so fits this persona than Calista the “Terror of the Barren”.  

 

“Correct. Mr. Rubin I said I do not fear her, that does not mean I am keen on rattling her cage. Because it can be a landmine, so I preferred to avoid a conflict with the old and bitter. It seems the side she has gone with is the one with that ends in violence.”

 

“I see, doing so would not have helped you at all.”

 

“Yes, I see an opportunity to settle with the old. Since all I can say is that their progenies can cause more complications down the road.” Rubin found Mrs. Lochner’s outlook foreign for an agent who was often the kind who wielded a hammer that sought after nails to beat down with it. She was dangerous, he thought.  s

 

“Think about it Mr. Rubin. We get to find a treasure you once spent an entire lifetime seeking. Producing no results other than a broken heart of a mad partisan. I get my Snowfall. You get your fortune and a good reference to help your child get into the best schools in the USP or Sun.”

 

 Rubin fell silent; his past that had him so worried, that had left for a land of fire and rains. However due to events long put on hold, had now once again collided into the present.  

 

Mrs. Lochner observed the sunken-eyed wasp; his gray eyes watched the foundries smelting ore. He had a worried stance of concern that made her feel uneasy but realized it was for the best.

 

“I can see you are more than a mask, if you belong to a foundation it is of no concern to me. Mrs. Lochner I accept your offer, on the grounds that you keep your word. I only accept because I rather trust a young insect that never lived through Palo or Palazzo, than someone who did. However as stated I would like one of your own to travel with my son and nephew while they make their way east, as a form of goodwill.”

 

Mrs. Lochner smiled unlike Marion’s her wide smile lacked any cynical mannerisms.

She pulled out a piece of paper from her shirt pocket. She then walked over to Rubin to have him sign a contract. After Rubin signed the contract Mrs. Lochner then called Marion back into the room.

 

Marion entered in a rather casual manner. Still in her right hand was worn scarlet book on “Petrol Locomotion” and in her left was the large stack of folders. She had the expression that her summoning was not warranted. Upon entering the room she gave an irritated expression after she caught a whiff of the smoke, “The Amount of drinking and inhaling around here, one would think such hardships would gage our vigor.” Marion gave a cynical smile towards Mrs. Lochner. Mrs. Lochner then placed the contract back in her shirt pocket, before holding out her other hand for Marion.

 

Marion looked down to see that she was presented with a small and worn letter. She then trades the letter for the folders. Mrs. Lochner posture shifted to handle the heavy folders. She placed the folders on the table she then opened the top folder. Mrs. Lochner merely glanced at the page before closing the file; her posture suggested she had read the entirety in a few seconds, however her expression said she would read the folders when it was convenient for her.    

 

Marion examined the envelope in its worn state, she was about to open the letter before Lochner interrupted, “Read it on your own time. If you must know it is from the Baranov. A round of celebratory is in order as we leave for our expedition.” Mrs. Lochner held her hands as if the news was a surprise; nevertheless Marion unmoved, gave a force clap. Her eyes scanned Marion to see her reaction, only to see little emotion other then a neutral smile.

 

“Miss. Hayloft, good news also fills your realm of joy. As you might know the Board and our benefactor has agreed to have you stay and deal in further research.” Again Mrs. Lochner eyed to see if Marion’s eyes turn blood red, however again her advances failed.

 

“So in light of this recent developments has turn up, as Mr. Rubin would like if one of our agents to guide his only child and defenseless nephew across the Barren. Seeing you prefer the field. We figured, you might tag along, inhale the fresh air and long roads east. Does that suit you Mr. Rubin?”

 

“Y…yes that can work. Though I do not know how he would feel having her tailing him again.” Rubin agreed to the proposal after little thought.

 

Mrs. Lochner smiled, “Well let’s make up a story, Mr. Peter Marlin stated he had trouble telling us apart. Though Miss. Hayloft pretty face allures such eyes, so she is an old friend of Mr. Rubin.”

  

Marion had a surprised look on her face, Rubin could not tell if the expression was either annoyed or offended. Marion only gave a nod and asked what else would she needed to do, to which Mrs. Lochner said no. She then asked if Rubin make he had all of his matters were settled before tomorrow morning. Mrs. Lochner gave Rubin and Marion permission to leave. As the two left, Mrs. Lochner gave a smile that curled around her lips.

 

Outside the office once Marion had escorted him out of the building. Rubin asked why she wear those ribbons about “Remembering 1419” she says she finds the lost cause noble tough has to be realistic about Romanization.

Marion then pulls out a small bag of dried Piña. When Rubin went to grab the small bag, Marion asked if he had to change the out come of the future knowing what was going to happen would he still change it? Marion had a sense of honesty that seemed to appear out of nowhere. Rubin took a long pause as the question had caught him off guard as he was expecting she was prodding him again. Her tone implied that he made the wrong decision. Rubin says it depends, if undoing what he already knew and learned, and then no he would not.

 

Rubin apologies to her about his glares, saying being back has dug up old memories and says the times are strange. Marion said nothing; she only eyed him as he walked off into the fading day.

Once he past the corner Marion said to herself, “I hope it was worth it?”

 

Insect Charter: Arrow's Divide Chapter 5 Part 3

Prologue Part One:

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Prologue Part Two:

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Chapter One Part One: 

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Chapter One Part Two:

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Chapter Two Part One:

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Chapter Two Part Two:

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Chapter Three Part One:
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Chapter Three Part Two:

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Chapter Four Part One:

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Chapter Four Part Two:

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Chapter Five Part One:

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Chapter Five Part Two:

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Chapter Six Part One: Soon

While working on this crazy idea of story, I needed to get parts of it out there. Partly I have no idea if any of this is decent after spending a year getting the idea written down. So I am going to add the whole thing up, and see what heppens. So this in my first story that I have actually written, though I did do some bits for "Take Me Home to 36" but that was more experimental. Regadless there is a bunch of out of place grammer and stuff, other wise not to bad for someone who has never really written anything. 

The first draft of this story was written as a adventure story but felt it could be better so I did a second draft, and this is the product of that madness. 

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Chapter five continuation...
 
On the second floor, Rubin was brought into a large and empty room. The blinds were half drawn the room overlooked the foundries. The simple floor and furniture suggested it was a meeting room for the lower ranks of the company. The room had a strong odor of flavored tobacco that Rubin could not tell what the smell was directly.

Marion stood with him in the room; she had a look as though someone should have been in here already to greet them.

 

“So you arrive. Ballistic Sting please take a seat or stand, either way matters not to me.” Mrs. Lochner said in a composed tone.

 

Rubin scanned the room to locate the voice, however the poorly lit room made finding her difficult. She approached him to his left; her silent approach caught him off guard, Marion unmoved stood calmly. Rubin was about to grab for his gun before Mrs. Lochner had placed her hands up in the air. She had said, “I hoped you are not as dumb as you look.” To which Rubin replies, “Age has that effect.”

 

Mrs. Lochner like Marion was a Box Elder, however her hue was metallic. Unlike Marion’s darker complexions, she was wearing copper toned makeup, allowing herself to appear lighter then her natural gray tone. She had long straight black hair pulled into a bun, with bangs parted in the middle. She wore a vibrant colored dress suit of red and gold. She looked as youthful as Marion, however her voice suggested that she was older then she appeared to be.

 

“May I bring you something to calm the nerve?” Mrs. Lochner said as her light brown eyes scanned him.

 

Rubin said water would be fine, before asking if they had anything sweet. Mrs. Lochner surprised gave him a rather innocent smile, “My apologies I think we only have Tobacco and Alcohol. Miss. Hayloft will find you something sweet for Mr. Rubin.”

Marion walked over to a shelf containing finger foods; she placed the folders on a nearby desk.

 

“IT’S for my kid, he likes Piña.” Said Rubin outright, while placing his hands to his sides.  

 

Marion looked around the dry and salty foods, and after a few seconds, “We do not have any Piña, but I will find you some.” Said Marion before walking over the edge of the room to a large shelf of drinks and tobacco cylinders.

 

“Then please bring Ballistic Sting some water.” Mrs. Lochner said to the point that she was clapping her hands.

 

“Mr. Rubin Please.” Said Rubin, as his old persona name made him uncomfortable.

 

“Yes, will you please bring Mr. Rubin some water.” Said Mrs. Lochner.

 

“There already is water on the table next to the ice block.” Marion said.

 

Mrs. Lochner then looked towards the end of the table near her and saw a large clay jug of water sitting near a nearly melted ice block, “Oh, well would you be a dear and give Mr. Rubin some ice water, and then prepare me a Narguile. I’ll take Orange Pillar.”

 

Marion and Mrs. lochner appeared to have an existing blood feud that was executed in the exchange of passive aggressive glares mixed with sharp expressions while interacting with each other. That the feeling conveyed was as if a violent confrontation would break out at any moment.

 

Marion annoyed walked over to the table closest to Mrs. Lochner. She broke off a piece of ice and placed it in a glass and filled with water. Marion made her way back to Rubin he gave his thanks; she only gave a shrug before walking over to set up Mrs. Lochner’s Narguile. She pulled out a decorative gold and black stem followed by a colorful glass vase of dark green. She assembled the two and placed a metal tray over the stem. She pulled out a long hose and attached it to the vase.

 

 “Mrs. Lochner, do you have any children?” Asked Rubin, while observing Marion.

 

“I have fifteen lovely children, ten daughters and five sons. I had twenty-nine but lost them to the Cough in Seventy-two. What you about Mr. Rubin?” Said Mrs. Lochner while gazing at Marion.

 

“Just the one.” Said Rubin before smiling trying to pass over the subject of the Cough, as he did not want to talk about depressing issues.

 

Marion then asked Rubin if he liked to inhale? He gave a shrug and says, “Never been my indulgence, though drink allures my taste.”

 

Again she gave anther wave before reaching for the flavored tobacco cylinders. She opens one of the large yellow tins with a logo of an Orange sitting atop a large stone column surround by sunrays. Around the image are large tobacco leaves forming a circle. Marion put the tobacco into a clay bowel, and placed a metal screen over it and added it to the stem. She opened a stove and placed coal over the clay bowel, she then broke them into little pieces and placed them evenly over the screen. She gave Mrs. Lochner the Narguile and she inhaled the hose, immediately the room filled with a thick white smoke. Marion walked over to the window to crack it open so that no one would die from suffocation. 

 

“Is that all?” Marion said while eyeing Mrs. Lochner.

 

“Yes, you may leave.” Lochner said while she took a deep inhale of smoke. The white smoke surrounded Mrs. Lochner in a hazy blanket before disappearing. Marion left the room with her folders; she nearly slammed the door behind her.      

 

“I see you have met Miss. Hayloft, I hope her outlandish habits has not alarmed you. You must forgive her customs. She comes from a line of sly and boorish bugs. Moved back after her short time in the east. Seems she lacked the connections to enter the schools. Oh well… what do you expect from a self-educated bug who conceals herself in books and veils. I take pity on her, I really do. Her um…mother killed most of her younger siblings in a drunken fit. Miserable I know, I guess a being a former sunny side can do that to a mother.”

 

Rubin taken back by Mrs. Lochner’s superior attitude, he then asks what is it that they need him for. He states that he is too old to be chasing Dual-Enterprises trying to raid the Railroads offices.

 

Mrs. Lochner curious asked as though she was offended by his question, “Then why accept the offer? Why accept the offer knowing that you are too old?”

 

“Because for the future of my son, it is better to settle the past, then have it follow him.” 

 

Mrs. Lochner takes a deep inhale, before looking back at him, having moderately enjoyed riling him up, then asked why did he not accept their original offer in Baja? She mentions that she could have sent a Flying Fortresses to have him and those he care for leave the land of fire. She mentions that she could have wired a large sum of money to take the Train rather walk the whole way.

 

Rubin takes another one of his long pauses, “Might I add, that your first offer was so ignorant and pompous, that you must be blind not to understand your own lick. Though I was desperate, I am not foolish, as having done so would have even greater strings attached and another sit of demands.”

 

Mrs. Lochner says he is right; she would have total control over him, before mentioning the why the change the sudden change of heart?

 

Rubin said, “I ran into Shard Arrow. However they were some local small time fellas. Too stupid to know for whom they were looking for. If she had some low rank scuttle pokers in Baja looking for me, then I knew it was time to dust off the gun and accept anything to avoid HER. Regardless of my feelings for such groups, sometimes such deals must be made.”

 

Mrs. Lochner then seated herself down on one of the chairs, her hands folded in puzzlement. “So… Calista is still looking for her old fool. I see breaking her heart… among other things. Still has her searching far and wide. The old homeland partisans like her are fading. You know her kind… like you they are diminishing from memory faster than the rust on those guns holstered to your belts.” Rubin stood soundless, as the accounts from his past affections still lingered in the memoires of others.

 

Mrs. Lochner mentions if having control over his pride is worth risking the future of his legacy. Rubin still silent waited for her to gloat. She then said, “This is the last offer, again refuse and all that you hide will unfold before unwanted eyes. I can respect your pride. Foolish nevertheless the fires leave the scorch marks for the ash.”

 

“So too can the starter.” Rubin said breaking the stillness of the smoke filled room.

 

Mrs. Lochner admiring his foolery then said, “Then a new dawn starts. I hope your travels quell that past and the horizon is the one you are seeking Open Skies or not. For you crossed back from the dead with a second chance to undo. Calista cannot let her pride go, even if her attack was abnormal. I can confirm from my own sources that she has been on the move lately, causing all matter of horror. Though I am shocked to learn that she sent a hit on you, all the way in Baja. With everything that is happening she is becoming a bombastic nuisance. Not like Stoneface… still a nuisance nevertheless. The companies and Republics still fear the reputation of her mother.”

 

“What about you?”

 

“No, violent she may be nor do I care whom she attacks. Our Land, Our Arrow divided by those who manipulated the bow. If the land can be a torn apart for a seconded time then it can survive a divide affliction. She will soon die, not by our hands. No… it would be terrible for our new companionship. Regardless of your past with her, I am here on behalf of my benefactor, your benefactor if we find Snowfall.”

 

“Snowfall? If you are looking for that, then that means…”

 

“Yes Mr. Rubin we have found evidence relating to an object known as “Snowfall” which was believed to have been apart of Francisco’s Treasure. Yet we do not know where to find both. We have acquired some new information. However with all of our resources and vast connections, we do not know where to go next. Everything we found, all the records all point to Sierra Estrella. As you might know those mountains are massive in scope. So massive it is why Arrow Divide was created. Split the mountains into three sections. It took the Sun’s imperial army six seasons to hunt down Mountain River. You traversed those mountains seeking the treasure yourself, knowing how treacherous they can be. What we lacked was time. Nearly all of those connected in hiding the princes’ plunder died long ago. All we have to go on is the pipe rolls, which are tremendously unreliable. Those few who are still living are old and dying, senile in their tales, which are inexact. You are not the first we had approached. Many died or if they were like Professor Joris Coen whose expedition disappeared three months ago.”

 

“Coen?” Rubin said in surprise.

 

“Knew him?”

 

“No, but I have read his books on First World ruins. Though that was before he got caught up in all that Esote… arcane hooey.”

 

Mrs. Lochner taped her finger before continuing, “We have heard from countless sources you were the closes in finding Snowfall. Also rumors said you about the only one to have not gone insane while looking for it. Miss. Hayloft in her short time discovered an array of stories. Finding out which one is closes to reality is difficult.”

 

“So I see… why are you more interested in finding Snowfall and not the treasure?”

Mrs. Lochner leaned back in the chair and asked what he knew about the artifact.

 

“Pardon me my lady, my mind is not fully there. Current revelations had turned my mind. But I must ask why do you or your benefactors have any interest in the diamond? It is more myth than legend, the treasure is far more believable then some Tabernacle.”

 

“A What? Never mind, please do go on.” Mrs. Lochner said as she slowly leaned forward and again taped her finger thinking as something dawned upon her.

 

Rubin smiled realizing that Mrs. Lochner gave away that she knew little on what she was actually looking for. Which gave him a deep worry and comfort. He realized she was a mere pawn among the greater game of the Foundations.

 

Insect Charter: Arrow's Divide Chapter 5 Part 2

Prologue Part One:
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Prologue Part Two:
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Chapter One Part One: 
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Chapter One Part Two:
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Chapter Two Part One:
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Chapter Two Part Two:

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Chapter Three Part One:
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Chapter Three Part Two:
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Chapter Four Part One:
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Chapter Four Part Two:
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Chapter Five Part One:
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Chapter Five Part Three:
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While working on this crazy idea of story, I needed to get parts of it out there. Partly I have no idea if any of this is decent after spending a year getting the idea written down. So I am going to add the whole thing up, and see what heppens. So this in my first story that I have actually written, though I did do some bits for "Take Me Home to 36" but that was more experimental. Regadless there is a bunch of out of place grammer and stuff, other wise not to bad for someone who has never really written anything. 

The first draft of this story was written as a adventure story but felt it could be better so I did a second draft, and this is the product of that madness. 

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Chapter 5

 

 

Rubin traveled to the Pattern Merchant House. Its location was more upscale, more foreign and dull when compared to the rest of the town’s adobe and plastered structures. Reliable electricity and running water filled large brick and stone buildings, while wires ran through out like a web with no apparent pattern or purpose to the causal observer. Yet given it pleasant appearance, harsh odors filled the ward in the same aroma as the rest of town when the winds would shift direction. Around Rubin could hear the clamoring and buzzing of Insects and birds flying above the toxic fumes. While in this section of town an empty gap was seen as nothing flew overhead. On the roofs and streets imposing guards stood idle, their large clubs rested in the same tone of boredom as the prospect of an imaginary soul would not fulfill their calling tonight. Worn faces slowly drawn upon the foreign guards, while their clean and pressed uniforms held a pristine posture of limited authority, nevertheless their mere role was to keep flying insects and birds from loitering around and to ease the well off from the constant paranoia of revolt. Several large signs were posted outside the offices and homes stating in several different languages, that no jobs where currently available. Nevertheless that did not keep several bugs from wondering the streets anticipating that someone would call down for their help in some mundane task or chore. But perhaps the most common sign Rubin often saw through out the west was the declaration, “No Spiders Need Apply.” The guards eyed Rubin suspiciously however he walked as if he had authority that was above their simple concern, so they let him be.

 

The Pattern Merchant House had a simple appearance that matched the other oversized company buildings. Unlike the extravagant offices in the cities this one was simple in construction. A square structure built of stone and brick its dull shape was equal on all sides giving a sense of orderly boredom against a rounded and natural landscape. The boring shape had small narrow windows, heavy blinds and bars surrounding the first floor. While on the second floor white smoke spilled from half drawn windows, giving sense that the building was on fire, however red flames never sprained out. The company house rested beneath a colossal “Friendship Tree”. Its faint green leaves gently below in the late afternoon light. Its bark worn by the sand and heat, around its base small homes hugged along like rocks. Such a retreat, among on the gray and rust, was warded off by signs and structures designed to keep the unwanted away. 

 

Upon entering the house Rubin is greeted by Marion. Her eyes merely examined him in amused, after the doors violently swung open, after a gust of wind caught him on the way in. She was sitting in an empty reception room awaiting his arrival. The vast room was surrounded in uncomfortable chairs made of cheep wood that touched a mediocre wooden floor that had not seen a polish in months. The white plastered walls lacked any decoration other than underwhelming artwork that seemed to call offices home. All of the items faced an iron barred reception desk, which then lead to a poorly painted sign displaying the Company’s name and logo behind the desk.

 

The first detail that caught Rubin’s eye was Marion’s attire, comprising of pressed fabrics of such stiffness that given her causal stature she held a slight expression that she felt uncomfortable wearing clothes known for spontaneous combustion. Despite this she was still wearing her cactus pin now attached to a red scarf. She also had her two watches, set to two different times. One distinct feature was her large brimmed hat, which continued to cast a faint shadow over her face.

 

Marion again glanced at him before looking back down at her book. She was reading a rather small booklet. Its small and worn shape was falling apart as the pages began to loosen from the spine, letters in faded gold read, “Petrol Locomotion”. To her side was a rather large bundle of folders that was sitting on a chair adjacent from her. Once her eyes found it convenient, she shifted her posture to greet Rubin formally, after she realized Rubin was not going to leave. In a rather casual fashion Marion slowly left her worn chair to meet Rubin. Her scarlet eyes held a glare that only the worn acquired over time.

 

Her close proximity allowed him to smell her perfume. While at the market, fumes from the foundries had masked her scent. Now she held the fragrance of coconuts which Rubin thought had a fairly pleasing and lavish scent that suited her.

 

In a tone of silent moodiness she remarks that her employer is pleased that he accepted their offer, more so she herself was reluctantly delighted that he had arrived at all. Rubin noted that Marion had dropped her thick accent, which had its limited charm, when he was not worried about being spied on. He also noticed that she had removed her “Partido Tierra Libre” ribbons. He then made a remark saying he would have expected a Roach rather than a Box Elder, sent to watch him. He said meeting her earlier in the market had him almost think she was some lackey scouting for the partisans. In a odd manner, Marion agrees and says strolling while parading the colors of a legitimate group supported by the locals tends to go unnoticed in the markets to the point that of unsettling. 

 

“I found your crack attempts childish, plus you had the discourse on the ribbon.” Rubin said in an offbeat manner implying he in some respect agreed in such poor subtly that he was extremely put off by her.

 

Rubin then asks why the whole charade in town. His voice turned hostile about her approaching him with his son. Rubin stated that he was going to arrive tonight after he had his affairs in order. Marion tightened up her posture.

 

“Because I wanted to see why my benefactors were still so keen on an old fool.” Marion’s eyes narrowed, “ Lately there seems to be more evil air than the ass could ever produce. Pardon my subtitle remark. Simply put, I desired to see if the old Lawrence really was a gal-sneaker like the tales make you out to be? Though I must apologize, running into your “child” was a slip-up. Mrs. Lochner had just arrived to-day after her long trip from Port Angeles.” Marion glanced at one of her watches while muttering something inaudible, before looking back up at Rubin.


“You must understand, a sudden reversal from you was most unexpected; we had to make sure it was really you. Not many, but a few remember your dashing days. Apart from the bitter ladies who woke up the next morning to find you missing or that you had slept with the baron’s daughter. Regardless we had come across a few imposters both alive and dead. I formally would have liked to have met you in Baja, rather then have sent one my letters, however unexpected events occurred that forced me to leave my post on to other matters.”

 

“Hmmm. It seems that your are more then a agent for the PMH.” Rubin said curiously, to elevate her meaning.

 

“Mr. Rubin I am merely a simple bug making her living. You must understand it was all part of the Job, your nephew in Arbo acted as if I wanted his soul. Idiotic, I say.

If you are inquisitive, I am agent… just for the Belt Trade Board. You might better familiar with it as the Assembly of Trade back in your day. The PMH is a valuable client of ours. Though secrets upon the Barren represent the PMH, I am not one who enjoys their shifty engagements. I personally do task such as investigations to information gathering for my boss. Given the scope on such ludacris subjects in the Barren, I was tasked with fact finding. So again I must apologize for any deception, though comical how your nephew kept on assuming I was some collector, despite me repeating I was a friend of yours. Still I could not help myself from pushing the notion a little.” Another one of Marion’s long smiles appeared crossing the entire length of her face. Rubin noticed she tilted her head slightly to the left, faintly lifting her head so the shadow from her hat faded exhibiting her scarlet eyes.

 

“I do not like the fact of a young bug, filling an equally young mind with causes both never lived to experience.” Rubin said annoyed, as he finally had the fortune of meeting the alleged collector who caused him and his nephew countless headaches. Rubin was anxious around Marion’s eerie habit at meddling extra information with the intent of her own amusement.

 

“Please do not over estimate yourself Jack. Your nephew was in no harm nor would he witness any of your old debauchery. Not to mention I find you’re past wooing rather vulgar to the modern intellect. Hearing those tales, I find it hard to fathom why any Insect other than a carefree would find you deserving of a snug? Strange events occurred, once I was assigned to this escapade. Both distressing and worn, so pardon if I take some amusement out of the matter.” Marion said.

 

“Your lip is ill-mannered, but true to a sad degree. Still I find your act off putting.” Rubin leaned forward; though Marion did not pull back, expect that her eyes narrowed before grinning and escorting him across the office.

 

 Halfway across the room she stopped, as she nearly forgot her folders. She mentions that the office ran a strict schedule that even the Roaches had trouble keeping pace.

 

Rubin interrupted, “I have to ask, what happened in Arbo? Why did you leave suddenly? You had my unfortunate nephew so worried that you where going to have a hit out for him, that one his employees had to came down to make amends.” Marion stopped again. One to keep a folder from falling second was to answer his question.   

 

“I will spare you the details, since you are going to hear the same story again from Mrs. Lochner. Still I would act surprise when you hear it from her. Unlike my violent temper, she has a habit of being arguably pretentious.” Said Marion giving sense that too much was going on, before he could think anymore on the matter, she started walking again.

 

“Siguy”

 

“Siegert” Corrected Rubin 

 

“Right Siguy, old one with a simile more foreign than a wish upon a star. Rather strange that one is, too outgoing for my own comfort. Has a habit on trying to make amends, even if he knows little about what he is trying to amend. Anywho he came down to see me. After a minute of back and forth we where suddenly attack by a masked gang. I did not know whom they belonged to. No distinct markings or identity other than their red masks. At first I thought it was the Partisans. Thinking back I regret mentioning that in my first report, which I do not think anyone has read my third updated version.” Marion looks down at the Folders, “After another encounter, I think they where from the East due to their clothes, but you know how fashions move.” Marion again looked down this time at her clothes, “Regardless seems they where after me, Why?”

 Marion gave shrug of uncertainty; “Well for one thing they shouted my full name and said, “Montague wishes my death.” Marion then noticed that Rubin gave an odd expression, but made no mention, he let her continue. She gave a moment of pause before resuming, “During the fight I kept Siguy from being killed, along with a few of the guest at the hotel, however the thing was they were only after me. So I avoided anyone that would get hurt. I was able to kill all but one, with an improvised explosive. Which might have gotten out of hand and brunt half of the building. The last one alive was the gang leader who shouted, “We know!” In such a dramatic blood yell, that it gave me the chills before he fell to his death. I knew something was up, Siguy said he would be quite on the matter. Partly I did not want any more attention following him or Peter. Last thing I said was that Peter did not have to worry about debts. I left Arbo to see who the killers might be after next.”

 While walking Rubin’s opinion on Marion changed. Also he could not help himself from scanning her. She had matched his nephew’s description as a fairly handsome bug with red vain wings. He had not noticed she had pulled back her curly hair. Rubin had considered himself a Born-Again Mandate so he strained himself from gawking at her tight fitting clothes. Yet seeing her dressed like a Roach had him linger on the outlines of her clothes imagining her in undergarments. Realizing his antics he stopped, and kept his eyes down. Seeing glamorous and authoritative insects drew him back to his old days of seeking out the best.

 

She escorted him past the many rows of desk with their fused and hunched over workers. Like Marion they were dressed in the finest fashions, waistcoats and white-collared shirts. The sight of the thin and slender workers made Rubin uncomfortable. When he left for the Torrent it was not common to see bugs other than roaches and some spiders in the professions as clerks.

 

While walking the across the office Rubin noticed an atmosphere of worry, Marion had the concern and stature that the clerks in the pins could only fantasized. Her eyes then scanned the rooms to see if any other soul would be in the range of her wrath. Her walk brought the efficacy down to the pace of worry as the office remained in a state of fear, as Marion might have used her immature vigor for pity pleasure though that was how Rubin viewed her. 

Insect Charter: Arrow's Divide Chapter 5 Part 1

Prologue Part One:

boxoflizards.deviantart.com/ar…

 

Prologue Part Two:

boxoflizards.deviantart.com/ar…

 

Chapter One Part One: 

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Chapter One Part Two:

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Chapter Two Part One:

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Chapter Two Part Two:

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Chapter Three Part One:
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Chapter Three Part Two:

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Chapter Four Part One:

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Chapter Four Part Two:

boxoflizards.deviantart.com/ar…

Chapter Five Part Two:

boxoflizards.deviantart.com/ar…

 

Chapter Five Part Three:

boxoflizards.deviantart.com/ar…

While working on this crazy idea of story, I needed to get parts of it out there. Partly I have no idea if any of this is decent after spending a year getting the idea written down. So I am going to add the whole thing up, and see what heppens. So this in my first story that I have actually written, though I did do some bits for "Take Me Home to 36" but that was more experimental. Regadless there is a bunch of out of place grammer and stuff, other wise not to bad for someone who has never really written anything. 

The first draft of this story was written as a adventure story but felt it could be better so I did a second draft, and this is the product of that madness. 

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While Rubin and Jorge had been shopping, Peter had Siegert buy some “new” mounted guns that help could use while on the birds. Peter stated he wanted to buy some new type of machine gun that was belt fed. He wanted to replace the old ones he used. Much to his distain, the war up north had all of the merchants inflated their price on weapons and ammunition. Rubin glanced at the near ancient crank mounted guns, his nephew used. Rust visible on the multi-barrels while the crank was only able to turn after much force. Rubin made note that he hoped the cartridges had been brass rather than paper other wise he would have Jorge go east by himself. Peter says the many of the older type machine of guns were cheap since belt fed guns became widely available, though he could not afforded them. He partly said that he actually feared that his employees would go through the ammunition faster then he could replace it. Rubin saw that Peter kept his employees out of bitter convenience rather their longtime relationship with his father.    

Peter had said he would have Siegert teach Jorge how to use a turret, since he needed every abled hand while on the road. Rubin was a little at odds upon hearing that Jorge would to have to learn how to use a firearm, he agreed with reluctance. Siegert said along the way along he and the help would show Jorge how to use the mounted guns despite the language barrier of the others. Rubin knew in a fight the others would be doing most of the legwork. Rubin remembered that most modern guns rarely made it into the Torrent, as the colonist mostly the Sun did not want to arm the locales after their own strife of revolutions. So swords and other such weapons were still a common sight. A few guns that did make it south would spend all of the cartridges in a single battle.

 

Rubin looked as Jorge got along with the old wasp. His young face was delighted to meet someone enthusiastic among Peter’s sunken employees.

 While in privet Rubin asked about Siegert to which Peter says the seeing the old wasp is hard to believe that he lived his whole life in the barren that such honesty was more distrustful than someone with a knife behind their back. Not to mention he lacked the old and bitterness that would have blend in with the rocks. Siegert had a nice Persona that most of his employees vile or coherent loved him as though he was their brother that they themselves never had.

 

Looking back at Peter, he was strange to Rubin. He showed care towards others before retreating back to his set of common mannerisms. In some ways he acted like his father Michael. Rubin knew his nephew was caught in a bind, it did not help him when he had to deal with another one of his fathers past burdens.

 

Both Rubin and Peter watched as Siegert showed Jorge how to use the mounted gun. Peter surveyed Rubin’s movement, who was still tired from last night. Rubin looked on as he saw Siegert show the firing mechanisms of the crank gun. The old wasp had such complete energy that it would draw the eye in admiration, while Rubin tend to stay quite that he would eventually fade from notice.

 

Peter noticed that Rubin was holding the books he bought for Jorge. He then noticed another book that seemed different, asking Rubin about it. He quietly said in a low tone that it was an adventure journal he had made for Jorge while in Baja. The small bound book was slightly larger than the other pocket books, and was decorated in a thick waterproof case. The journal was filled with old maps and treasure myths; he had hoped it would help Jorge in learning the lands geography. However Rubin’s early drinking prevented him from giving his son the gift so he had put the journal in his bag. He made note to give him it later.

 

“So when do ya’ leave?” Peter said in a strange manner suggesting Rubin’s sudden departure would affect both him and Jorge.

 

“Tomorrow, however I am to meet my contacts at the Pattern Merchant House tonight.”

 

“A merchant house? That is… unexpected. What no backroom of the hotel, or windy hilltop? Mind me asking how did you get involved with the companies? I had figured you were approached by some creature of the night with a gang of knife wielding assassin poppers. Then again we live in Valley of the Winds, so they are not much different.” Peter said cynically.

 

“Might I add, Black Sonar died back in Forty-Four. Plus he never worked with assassin bugs on the account they killed his Pa.”  Rubin said while mocking Peter.

 

“Hum.” Peter said not wanting to answer Rubin.

 

“You are half-correct, as I told you last night I no longer use the old contacts. You might know the owner more than the company. Liebe came to the Republics after the revolution in Chernozem. How that passionate gambler is able to hold onto such a sizable company is anyone’s guess. Still from what I heard in Baja, he has partly prospered due to his shady connections and friendships that seemed to have worked for his benefit. To the point that no one thinks he actually runs the company anymore. I heard he makes a healthy living of his quarter dividends. Since the company has gone privet, it has become careful… not very edger to do anything rash. Not unlike everyone else.” Rubin said as saying the words had him ponder for a seconded, as he had a revelation. But refused to say on what had caused him to think.  

 

“I wouldn’t him call him careful, helps funds the Summers Police Force. They are nothing but a bunch of troublemakers and thieves. They got into some nasty skirmish with the Rhodes Republic last spring. The Police crossed into the Republic, burnt a few towns before they where arrested and charged for invading the Republic. Caused a whole scandal in the papers, that even the Grand Empress herself sent a telegram to Liebe scolding him, before he was let off the conspiracy of invasion with a small fine.” Said Peter as his disgust filled him with anger.

 

“Strange that Liebe got himself playing enforcer with Republics, reminds me of the chases after Palazzo, large armies and scouts tracking down a small outfit across mountains and dead zones. Nevertheless you are barons of dirt when nobody wants the rust mound. Not that they would see the value in land unlike the Sun who sees it as clay. Coin and Belt only see short-term profits. Looking for a quick vain to exploit, why do you think they have been light on colonization lately? With that fantasy Railroad they had fought so hard to build has only made things worse for them. Couldn’t build it through the Independence Claim, so they choose Jalisco and San Luis two of the most volatile regions in the Barren.”

 

“Hum, I see. Still they know how to use commodities, different from the Sun. Might not help that they sell guns in volume. Amount of goods raining in to the Barren, I am surprise they are not just throwing them out of a flying Stone head.”  Peter said nearly snickering. 

 

As the conversation drew on longer thoughts filled Rubin’s mind that he seemed at odds with everything, more so than his usual thoughts. That once light from outside faded to orange, Rubin knew it was time to get some answers.   

 

“I shall return later, look after Jorge.” Rubin said while leaving, the response caught Peter by surprise.

 

As Rubin left, he held his gun and personal journal to his side. His past again had caught up with the old wasp. Another dark horizon loomed in front of him, so he kept his eyes forward never looking back to what he had. As the proposition before him was so that he could keep that horizon from ever reaching him.

 

 

 

 

Insect Charter: Arrow's Divide Chapter 4 Part 2

Prologue Part One:

boxoflizards.deviantart.com/ar…

 

Prologue Part Two:

boxoflizards.deviantart.com/ar…

 

Chapter One Part One: 

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Chapter One Part Two:

boxoflizards.deviantart.com/ar…

 

Chapter Two Part One:

boxoflizards.deviantart.com/ar…

 

Chapter Two Part Two:

boxoflizards.deviantart.com/ar…

 

Chapter Three Part One:
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Chapter Three Part Two:

boxoflizards.deviantart.com/ar…

 

Chapter Four Part One:

boxoflizards.deviantart.com/ar…

Chapter Five Part One:
boxoflizards.deviantart.com/ar…

Chapter Five Part Two:

boxoflizards.deviantart.com/ar…

 

Chapter Five Part Three:

boxoflizards.deviantart.com/ar…

While working on this crazy idea of story, I needed to get parts of it out there. Partly I have no idea if any of this is decent after spending a year getting the idea written down. So I am going to add the whole thing up, and see what heppens. So this in my first story that I have actually written, though I did do some bits for "Take Me Home to 36" but that was more experimental. Regadless there is a bunch of out of place grammer and stuff, other wise not to bad for someone who has never really written anything. 

The first draft of this story was written as a adventure story but felt it could be better so I did a second draft, and this is the product of that madness. 

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As the few who has followed me, I came up with a story just over a year ago. It started out as a crazy dream about bugs riding atop of other bugs fighting other bugs. It was set in 2005 Goodyear Arizona during the housing bubble crash. In which bugs and animals would fight over the foreclosed houses for land and territory. It was basically a World War for bugs. Now after some time, I changed the world around, so now it takes place in a sami fantasy setting with historical parallels to the 1900s. The world inspired by a combination of "Peace on Earth", "There Will Come Soft Rains", "The Idiot", "Zorro" and "Big O", fused with the idea of growing up in a world of uncertainty.

So I am rolling out my poorly written and grammar laden second draft.  

Also those who enjoy history, hope you like the not so subtle ref to the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like The Barren is inspired by The Eurasian Steppes, South Africa, and the American Southwest. The Sun Empire is basically the German, Russian, and British Empire. The Antennomac is France combined with the Balkans. "The Mass Levy Wars" was the Napoleonic Wars. Citrus Isles is the West Indies, the Torrent is South America. The Baja Imperial line is the "Panama Canel". The Belt is Spain fused with Russia. Even the names The Grand Empress mentioned is  "Kaiser Wilhelm". "Stone Face" is not so subtle "Crazy Horse", "Mountain River" is "Geronimo". Also the Prairie Dogs in the story is a metaphore for Native Americans.

Also not all is serious, I added a bunch of stupid jokes such as a few refs to "Zardoz" I will add a bunch of more fun stuff as the story goes on...            

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:iconblondynkitezgraja:
BlondynkiTezGraja Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot for the points :D We are now a bit closer :D
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Hi! Thanks for the +fav :D (Big Grin)   
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You are most welcome Love 
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Whoa... uh, thanks for the gift. I wasn't really expecting that. Thank you very much. Bro hug Hug 
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You are most welcome! :)
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Thanks for the fav :D
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Sure thing, love your pictures! Love  
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StoltPunk77 Featured By Owner May 7, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh thank you so much! That means a lot to me :love: :hug:
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Thanks for watching
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Sure thing, I love your work! :D
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