Charlie: Sorry for the long delay, but honestly I am just stressed the fsk out right now. Over the last six months, I went through a terrible lung infection, got my classes cancelled, and went through a bad break up. So forgive me for the long wait.
World of Warcraft also didn't help . (Find me on Spinebreaker – Sparkleglory. Just don't ask me about my name.)
Secondly, this thing has gradually spun exceedingly out of control. So I'm just going to take it one chapter at a time. We last left off when my in story namesake (Who's actually German not Chinese(I am, I just have very little creativity when it comes to names.)) started sending people into the real world at various periods of time. I'm actually only going to follow a few of them because it just is starting to hurt my head.
As a result, for those of you who still read this, please send me an e-mail leave a review about what time periods you would like me to do after the Jeanne D'arc and D-Day story arcs. I'll do like 2 or 3 others.
That said, we all have to go out into the real world at some point, and as much as I love this story (which started back in high school with me messing around with a random number generator), I can't write for you if I don't find a job and feed myself.
It's been a pleasure, and I'm glad you've stuck with me through all my personal issues and absences and hope you'll stick with me as I weather out life's best attempts at murdering me.
Oh on another note, I've informed that apparently someone linked this thing on TV Tropes under crack pairing O.o. Dunno if that's true.
Forgive me if this is starting to ret con what I've previously wrote. I'll list the dramatis personae at the end. The relevant OC's will be listed.
Effective Forms of Torture
Hallucinations, nightmares, delusions generally follow one very simple rule: no matter what was done by the illusions, the patient would never be harmed the invisible specters plaguing his vision.
So the pain of the lashes upon his skin really started to frighten Matthew.
"I will not ask again!" The heavily accented voice assaulted his ears. "Who are you and what are you here for English scum?"
There goes that phrase again… English scum. It was a combination of sounds and syllables that had absolutely no meaning to Matthew. He considered telling the truth, to say that he was pushed through a strange magical portal by a psychotic innkeeper in the mou-
Yeah, no that wasn't going to win any points with these people. If anything, Matthew was a trained professional. He knew that his only value to these people is the information he currently holds in his head. They don't know he's not a "English" spy. That's the only thing keeping him alive.
For now at least.
So Matthew kept his mouth stubbornly shut. It got him lashes and blows to the face, but pain was preferable to death.
When they finally left him, Matthew was beaten bloody and barely conscious. The blindfold was removed, the gag torn off. They were unnecessary. He was in a windowless room and the torches were all extinguished. The only thing Matthew learned about his predicament with his senses restored is the fact that he had been strung upside down.
You know, because escape wasn't challenging enough.
Footsteps echoed harrowingly against the cold stone wall. Matthew felt a surge of annoyance rise in him. His muscles had already begun to tighten up. This round of punishment will hurt.
A woman's voice, soft, but commanding caught Matthew's attention. Etrurian… or whatever the hell the equivalent is in this god forsaken world.
But my lady, the prisoner is of no concern to you. Just another English spy. We will break him soon enough and his head will hang from the walls of Orleans.
So he was in Orleans. Apparently this woman was in charge. Interesting. Far be it for Matthew to be misogynistic at this point in time, but he was interested to see why she was so interested in him.
No. You will bring me to him. You will cease your barbaric treatment of him. You will feed the man, clean his wounds. You will then leave me with him for the rest of the night.
This is a command from your God. This man is not a English spy. He was sent to us to save the French people!
So they were French… and he was supposed to save them. Matthew groaned audibly from his aches. He certainly had absolutely no desire to save these people…
Rough hands were grabbing him. He heard a sword being drawn… then the tightness in his legs disappeared as gravity once again took hold. He allowed his feet to fall downward limply. Another pair of hands supported them as he was manhandled right side up and led out the room.
Consciousness was still a fleeting thing. Matthew was only vaguely aware that the torches were lit. The searing pain from his wounds kept him from succumbing completely to the darkness. His captors were not gentle as they manhandled him through a maze of hallways.
Finally the movement stopped. Matthew groaned in relief as the hands dumped him onto a feathered mattress. The rough, callused hands of soldiers were soon replaced by the gentle soothing touch of nurses. Matthew let the waves of relief carry him as each of his wounds were cleaned and bandaged.
He had no idea how long it took… hours, days, weeks, years. When it was finally done, the sweet embrace of sleep finally took him off.
Jeanne d'Arc was a patient women. She however had no tolerance for those who disobey the word of God. The prisoner was discovered, dazed, unarmed and confused near the castle walls. Jeanne had immediately known that he was not an English spy.
"Lycian" She muttered out to no one. She didn't know what that word meant, but in her dreams she sees a far away land… embattled with an evil sorcerer. A land where people have mystical power; where the good struggle against those who would use that power for evil.
It had been 3 days since the patient fell into his sleep. The nurse explained that the man had lost a lot of blood. It would take some time for him to recover.
What Jeanne would've given for her God to allow her to run the moronic guards through with her sword. Calming herself, Jeanne continued to stare at the unconscious man lying in bed. The man with a boyish face and sandy hair that were it not for the numerous scars on his hard body, Jeanne would've believed him to still be a child.
Torture was never a good method to discover anything. Those who had information could withstand the pain… those who had nothing told lies to make it stop. Either way it torture was more often than not a good way to lose valuable prisoners to the mortician. And with the way the war has gotten, France can ill afford to waste assets to the over exuberance of idiots.
She was getting premonitions again. There were more evil forces at work, forces that want to dictate the fate of this world, of her world.
Staring at the young man passed out on the bed before her, Jeanne couldn't help but shudder at the thought that maybe… just maybe…
They were all just puppets dancing to the tune of someone else's sick fantasies.
Despite being married to Count Reglay, Louise never before considered herself blessed to be able to partake in the wonderful world of nobility. She hated being pampered, hated the rules, hated the mannerisms… hated the fact that she wasn't allowed to shoot things outside of a drool shooting range where insipid airheads clapped wildly at her ability to shot an unmoving board from 50 yards.
Two weeks into this new world and Louise was suddenly grateful for the prim and proper world she was thrust into when she married Pent… one which helped her lose her Etrurian accent.
This new world wasn't much different than the one they came from. Things were named differently, languages simply had different titles… and everyone still hated everyone else. It was fortunate their cover depended on Louise to be able to speak perfect Lycian rather than forcing Rebecca and Wil to speak perfect Etrurian.
After holding off a fortified assault on their position using nothing but barrels of fish for cover, the commanding officer, Sir John Fastolf, had granted them the courtesy of not asking too many questions. Louise fed him a story about being the widow of a nobleman… cast out of her house by her late husband's conniving siblings.
Not even Louise bought her own story, but Fastolf let it slide. Now, Louise found herself and her two charges in a seedy tavern waiting for the man.
"He's late." Wil said impatiently.
Rebecca sat at the end of the bar staring at some trinket her love had given her. Louise had to muse, for some crackheaded plot to get people in this misfit army to like each other, Jessica's plan had succeeded. After all, nothing like a little sexual tension to break loose when stuck in a small confined space with each other. Granted, the plan could've easily just as well ended with Rebecca strangling Erk in his sleep… but Louise tended to not dwell on "What ifs."
A tap on her shoulder brought Louise to the present. Behind her, John Fastolf leaned against the bar, looking for all the world like just another drunken vagrant.
"You ask some very intriguing questions my lady." Fastolf said, taking a swig of the mead. "Questions that do not have easily found answers."
"Were my answers easily found, I did not need to involve myself with you good sir." Louise said. "The fate of your world is changing. It's imperative that I find my friend."
"Well, you didn't give me much to go by." Fastolf said as he drew a cluttering of vellums from within his robes. "There was no Englishman by yours description found dazed within our ranks or within English controlled territory."
"Are you saying he's gone?" Louise asked.
Fastolf shrugged. "It's a large world milady. It's hard to find one person, especially a suspicious person who would spout madness. Less discerning companies would simply have the man run through and be done with it. If he truly is not of this land, then he could just as easily gotten lost and starved or frozen to death in the woods."
"You'll find him more resourceful." Louise said. "Have you anything?"
"It took some digging." Fastolf said. "But one of our agents within French territory say that the French have a strange prisoner in Orleans. A man who matches your description and seemed thoroughly confused at everything that was happening. Rants about a land called 'Lycia'"
Louise felt hope surging within her. "Is he still there?"
Fastolf nodded. "Taken out of the dungeons I see. Seems to me that the Maiden has taken an interest in your friend. I must ask you this my lady, what side are you on? Many underestimate the Maiden because she is female, but by God you and your servant girl are the two best marksmen I've ever met in my life. So forgive me if I don't share in my countryman's skepticism. If this is truly God's will, then all of England may be doomed."
Louise didn't know what to say. So she just nodded through Fastolf's rant. Afterwards the man downed his flagon of mead and shoved the vellums into Louise's dainty hands.
"Find your friend." He said. "Find out why the Maiden is so interested in him. You can tell me your findings as repayment."
Matthew was starting to really hate France.
Just as well since supposedly he was English, and supposedly the English REALLY hated the French.
Aches, cricks, and all manner of uncomfortably sensations assaulted him as once again he was thrust back into the cold world of the living.
The girl spoke Etrurian. Or French… or whatever the bloody hell that blasted language was called now.
"How long have I been out?" Matthew responded. The girl giggled lightly at his heavy accent, and Matthew was simply too tired to care.
"Five days." The girl responded. "My apology for your treatment here. Nobody deserves as such."
"Not even English scum?"
"Not even English scum." The amusement in her voice was evident. Matthew fell silent. He didn't know what to say, he didn't want to say anything, and quite frankly, he was still technically a prisoner.
"But you are not English oui?" The girl's voice broke in.
"It's just another word." Matthew said. "English, Lycian, what's the difference?"
"Sometimes, that makes all the difference." The girl said. "Perhaps it is time you fully opened your eyes."
Matthew groaned, but slowly he complied. Slowly he let his lids flutter open… his pupils dilating and screeching in pain after several days of zero external stimuli. Slowly, his vision cleared. No longer did the damp, bleak walls of the dungeon stare back at him.
"Where am I?"
"No longer in the dungeons."
Matthew turned to look at the girl. She was striking in her own way. Soft brownish blonde hair, intelligent eyes… certainly not a great beauty but definitely a good sight for very sore eyes. Almost strikingly similar to…
"You remind me of someone I left behind."
The question took Jeanne by surprise. The air stood still for a moment as the two let the awkward moment pass.
"What do you want of me?" Matthew finally asked. "I am not English, I am not of this land. No amount of beating would change my answer."
"I do not doubt your heritage." Jeanne said. "I've been for told that our world would have visitors, visitors from another world. Throughout the history and the future of this world, things will be changed. The fate of our world has already gone askew."
It was a lot to digest. If Matthew ever got back, Charlie would have a LOT to answer for.
"Then once again I ask of you, what do you want of me?"
Jeanne was quiet for a long time.
"I've been dispatched to relieve our men in Orleans. I've held back my forces to wait for you. I would like you to come with me."
"I don't think I'm in a condition to fight."
"No… not to fight." Jeanne said. "Just so you are nearby. It is important that you are nearby."
"Hah." Matthew laughed. "Well, first time someone's said that about me in a siege. Very well my lady, it seems that I don't have a choice."
Jeanne nodded curtly and got up to leave. "We leave tomorrow for the front lines. I will have someone prepare a set of arms for you."
"Wait!" Matthew called out towards her retreating back. Jeanne stopped and turned to look at him. "Your name."
"Good to meet you." Jeanne said. She nodded curtly and strode from the room, leaving Matthew to his thoughts and his pain.
April 29th, 1492
Louise did not expect the information to be completely accurate. Matthew had been captured in Orleans, but had been moved out of the city. He and the prophesized Battle Maiden just recently entered the city, and the "madman of Orleans" was being kept under heavy wraps. It would be nearly impossible to identify Matthew from afar.
John Fastolf provided some documents that allowed her to move freely between the English ranks. Louise's Etrurian charms and… ahem, feminine wiles managed the trio into the besieged city. Wil's knack of finding alcohol managed to keep the three's sanity in check considering they just risked their lives to enter a city under heavy siege.
"So… why are we risking life and limb to help Matthew?" Wil asked as perched precariously on a castle wall surveying the camp of soldiers.
"Because this goes beyond Matthew." Louise said. She collapsed her spyglass and drew a canteen to her mouth. "We are not of this world. Our presence throws the entire future of this world into chaos."
"Or does it?" Wil asked. He took the canteen from Louise and took a swig. "Perhaps our presence is already woven into the fate of this world? Perhaps we are meant to be here."
"Or perhaps you've spent too much time listening to that loony librarian's crackpot theories." Louise shrugged. "Either way, I'd rather not chance it. Plus it would seem that 'French' is this world's counterpart to Etrurian. And Matthew, being not Etrurian, could very well be in grave danger remaining with the French."
"Though…" Rebecca's voice broke through. "This still doesn't answer another important question."
"Yes?" Louise asked.
"Even if we do find Matthew… how the hell do we get back to Elibe?"
That was a very good question.
Glenn was angry. No, that doesn't quite express it. Glenn was irate, furious, mad beyond all reason – No, there simply were not words to express his feelings at this moment.
Gunther and Sofiya Raistzenburg were surely positively TURNING in their graves.
The reason for Glenn's anger? One Charles Leiptzsi Raistzenburg.
Glenn woke up this morning to receive a missive from Ostia informing him that should his town continue to hold the heirs of Ostia, Caelin AND Pherae hostage, the retribution would be swift and brutal. Fearing this to be some sort of mistake, Glenn rushed out into the town… only to find the entire city devoid of people save a handful of confused, local residents.
A town meeting had been called on the spot. The missive was read out loud. Many plans of placating the Royal Families were drawn up as nobody knows where any of them had gone.
Then the smug bastard walked in… and he had the audacity to be smiling.
"Charlie, what is the meaning of this?"
"Oh old man…" Charlie had said, smugly. "Have a little faith. I'm simply… reshaping the world. Putting my stamp on things."
The man was a delinquent… a drunk, disrespectful delinquent. But this goes beyond missing assignments or getting pissed off firewater. No, this was treason, high treason.
Even his friends and family knew... all that is except for Kiyoko who stood in her customary spot to his right and three paces back.
"Do you really want to fight me Glenn? The cold weather doesn't do well for your joints. There's a reason it's custom for the elderly to go down the mountain during winter."
"Do not mess with me boy."
The smug smirk on Charlie's face faded.
"One does not mess when one commits high treason." Charlie said. He pulled out a strange looking device and pulled a trigger.
An ear splitting bang reverberated through the mountains, causing those unfortunate enough to not be wearing earmuffs to hold their heads. Alan was even bleeding from his ear.
"AHH! YOU SON OF A- WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME?" Glenn yelled as his knee exploded in pain. He fell to the ground, the snow around him staining bright red from the blood.
"Shut up old man or the next shot goes through your head." Charlie yelled. "The rest of you, get him inside the inn, and stay there. Don't make me do something you will regret."
"Charlie…" One of his cousins tried to plead with him. "Don't do this."
"I don't know what your problem is or what you have to prove…" This time it was Alan. "But get over yourself and stop this madness!"
"I'm not warning you people a second time. Get this pile of shit out of my sight." Charlie half screamed.
When nobody budged, Charlie took aim at Glenn's other kneecap and pulled the trigger. One more ear splitting bang, another bloodcurling scream…
Ten minutes later, all that stood outside was Charlie, Kiyoko, Kini and a pile of blood red snow.
"Well…" Kini said. "That went well. And they call me the psychopath."
"You of all people know why I'm doing this." Charlie muttered.
"And I of all people know why sometimes it's just not worth it."
But once you cross the point of no return, the only way out is to win… or die.
May 7, 1492
Nine bloody days and the siege was about to come to a climax. Jeanne had finally taken the field and taken the fight to the English, and Louise would've wagered her drawing arm that the squire constantly following her was Matthew. The profile certainly fit.
Ever since Rebecca's question was left in the air, the trio were faced with another, difficult, unanswered question.
Why were they here?
All three were fairly certain it was the innkeeper who created the portal and shoved all four of them in. But that certainly didn't explain why he did it. For what purpose could he possibly have for sending four people into a bloody war that has lasted several decades? What could four people possibly do?
"She's striking." Rebecca said.
"She looks like that girl Matthew's been pawing all week." Wil contributed, earning himself a sharp kick to the side from one of the women near him.
"And Matthew's too much of a professional." Louise said. "No, he has to stay close to her. As much as the men in that army detest it, she may be their last hope… a warrior sent to them by their God. If she was the one who relieved Matthew of prison, then the only time he would be safe is if he were near her."
"You think he's-"
"You finish that sentence Wil." Louise said. "And I'll test my theory that we need to die here to go home on you."
"I'm just saying."
"Stop saying." Louise said. She checked her bow string. "We need to get her off the field. We need to talk to her."
"Ahh, the simple stuff." Wil muttered. "Hey there! We're some strange people from some far off land called Elibe! I see you have our friend! Let's have a chat please AS YOUR CITY BURNS TO THE GROUND AROUND YOU."
Louise rolled her eyes. "Oh stop with the dramatics."
"No honestly, her presence for the past few days has been the only reason what the French seem to be miraculously winning this god forsaken battle. Do you really expect all those armed soldiers down there who have been fighting for their lives for so long to let the three of us simply WALTZ in and talk to their wondergirl?"
"Which is why my plan is simpler." Louise said. She notched an arrow… and let it fly.
'Two inches lower…' Matthew thought. 'And the French lose this war…'
Jeanne d'Arc was an extraordinary woman. Matthew was shot in the arm once by an arrow. He spent the next few weeks making snide remarks from his bed. Occupational hazard of being a spy: if you were injured, you may as well be dead.
Jeanne d'Arc however was having none of this "rest and recuperation" business. With an almighty cry, she wrenched the arrow from her shoulder and leapt right back into the fray.
"If you were trying to kill her." Wil remarked. "I think you missed."
"Bloody hell." Louise said. "Why can't the men in our army be like her?"
"She'll eventually have to get that attended to." Rebecca said. "Looks like we're back to playing the waiting game."
What's left of Orleans, France
May 8, 1492
Les Tourelles is lost. We will be withdrawing. Lady Louise, I implore find your answers fast.
"Looks like our battle maiden won." Louise said. She stood with Rebecca and Wil among the drunk and bawdy. A few broken noses had already discouraged the more… affectionate of the troops. "I think it's time we paid a visit to our good friend.
"Would that be me?" A voice.
The trio jumped around and found themselves face to face with their long… accosted friend. Rebecca immediately launched herself at him.
"It's good to see you Matthew." Louise said, chuckling at the younger girl's exuberance. "I see you've been keeping busy."
"If you could call it that." Matthew said. "There are those who would still call me English. I tend to not stray from Jeanne."
"Is that her name?" Louise asked. "There are… whisperings of her. She has visions, visions from God. They say she will save France from English dominion. She will restore the French crown to the rightful king."
"Something along the lines." Matthew said. "Which of course leads us to the bigger question, why are we here?"
"I may have a few theories." Louise said. "You saw who pushed us through correct?"
"Charlie." Matthew said. "Forgive me if I say that name with a bit of disdain."
"We still don't know what he wants, but I do believe it's time we speak with Jeanne. She seems to be the only honest soul in this world. Ensure that we have privacy."
Matthew nodded grimly. "Meet me in the tent with the pink banners in half an hour. We shall have our chat then."
"You carry the same air as your friend." Jeanne said, without turning to greet her guests. "You seek answers where there are none."
She turned. Louise noted how piercing her eyes were.
"I'm sorry, I do not know why you are here or how you may return." Jeanne said.
"I did not expect you to Maid of Orleans." Louise replied in Etrurian.
If Jeanne was surprised, she did not show it. The girl merely gestured towards crude chairs around a table of maps. Matthew took a seat, Louise and the others soon followed.
"Not many are aware of our presence, fewer still believe our origins." Louise said. "You are one, Sir John Fastolf of the English is another. Both believe that we have been sent to rewrite the fate of this world."
"Perhaps." Jeanne said. She poured tea into rather old and faded china. "Or perhaps your coming has already been woven into the fate of this planet. Nobody can predict God's will… but He has a plan. You may be of another world, but you are still of his creation. You and your friends' presence here may yet be another design."
Jeanne took a long sip of her tea. "You say a man of great evil sent you to this world. Three of you landed on the English side while a fourth was captured by us and nearly tortured to death. I have been granted visions from God, imploring me to save France for the rightful King. Perhaps the man who sent you here wishes you to reverse what God has planned for me to accomplish."
"It seems that you did just fine." Louise said. "That was a rather decisive victory for your side."
Jeanne laughed bitterly. "One of few. Look into the history of this war, the history of France. Our military victories are few and far between. We could not hope to win this war my lady. We could only hope to draw… to prevent the English from dominating this continent."
"And you believe we've been thrown here against our will, without our knowledge and planted with the English in hopes that we would be able to stop you?"
"You came within two inches of it today my lady."
Louise blushed furiously and cast her eyes away from Jeanne. The Maiden of Orleans simply smiled and shook her head.
"Do not worry, you have faith in your skill and I have faith in my God. If you had intended to kill me, you would not have missed."
"I'm still sorry."
"Don't be." Jeanne said. "But yes, I believe the devil intends to stop me… I believe the man who sent you here is an agent of evil. I believe that the purpose of your presence is to assist England in their quest for dominion over France. So I ask you this: I may not know how to bring you back to your world, but how would you like to assist me? Spit upon the face and the plans of the man who trapped you in this strange and foreign land?"
Louise, Matthew, Wil and Rebecca all exchanged looks. It was a lot of information to digest, and most of it was still simply speculation.
But the look on Charlie's face when he realized that his plan had failed… would be priceless.
There were simply some things money can't buy.
Louise nodded. The others soon followed.
30 Minutes Past Crazy
"So… you've freaked out your friends and family, shot your teacher in both kneecaps. Even your sister is currently freaking out… a little."
"Oh don't get your knickers in a twist princess." Charlie said rolling his eyes at Kini. He gave her a lecherous grin"Besides, we've got the whole town to ourselves now."
"Don't flatter yourself big boy." Kini deadpanned. She turned face and headed towards the inn.
"Where are you going?"
"You have an inn full of scared and angry people. I'm going to go feed them and calm them down. I suggest you start finding solace in whatever God you believe in." Kini replied calmly. "Nergal's coming, the joint forces of Pherae, Caelin and Ostia are marching on you. You still got Eliwood's army floating around through space and time, and they'll eventually figure out what they need to do to get back. Once this all comes around Charlie, there will be a LOT of people pissed at you."
"But you'll be with me right?"
Kini looked back sadly. "I don't know if I will."
And with that she disappeared into the building, leaving Charlie alone with his thoughts… and the blood.
And he smiled.
A pariah always stood alone.
A few things: Yes, I'm giving definitive names/etc to my characters. Have I done it before, well, it's been seven long years since I've started this thing… and between the years and all the scotch I've consumed over the years, I can't even remember what I had for dinner last night. SO, take it for what it is, this thing isn't perfect. Maybe I'll go revise previous chapters… maybe I won't. For now, just live with what's given in the present.
Secondly, the list of OCs just got massively out of control. I'm cutting it down dramatically. Last names won't be AS important except on some characters. Don't expect the obvious though (/cryptic)
Charles (Charlie) Leiptzsi Raistzenburg – Male Swordsmaster
Kiyoko Lee – Female Assassin
Sonia Raistzenburg – Female Sniper
Lulu Raistzenburg – Female Falcoknight
Fae Raistzenburg – Female Mage
Catelyn (Kate) Selenni – Female Priestess
Alan Winston – Male Sniper
Kini Isabel Victoire Regina Kuestoicz von Juurgens – Female Countess, Subject Zero
Glenn McEllis – Male Druid
Clive – Male Cloud Entity
Clide – Male Cloud Entity
Kevin – Male Druid
Finally, since I decided to dabble in history, obviously exact events won't be related. Jeanne d'Arc did not rescue some crazy English prisoner before arriving at the Siege of Orleans. She did get shot in the chest, but it was by an English Bodkin arrow, not Louise. You know the drill. Some things will change. Some things will not. I'll be taking a lot of liberties with historical accuracy.