I have to apologize, I've got no Crystal's Call ready for you guys today. It's end of the month which is really the only point in my work schedule that gets busy as I settle and close out the month. Instead I pulled an old short for you guys to enjoy or tell me how it's garbage, whichever you feel like doing. It was just a little something I did for fun about three and a half years ago. Again, apologies. Let's just say "the servers are down" for "emergency maintenance" or something. But when we get back on track we'll have everything fixed, I promise. Please look forward to it.


-In My Sights-

"The rules are quite simple, really," the man in the green tunic, sporting a feather in his cap, said as he tested the string of his bow. It was one of those composite bows that had come about recently. Half the size of a long bow with the same strength. "The person who shoots closest to the center of the target is the winner."

Rosalyn peered off in the direction the man gestured in and sure enough, there was a target off in the distance hung up onto the side of a tree. It seemed like it had seen some use, so this group of brigands must have been at this scheme for some time. She dusted off her earthen toned tunic and checked the wooden cylinders strapped to her belt at the small of her back. The horizontal cylinders were not damaged despite the tussle she had come into with the large fellow now standing near the archer. He was currently holding her belongings, most notably a long object wrapped in a white sheet in his hands. She shrugged her shoulders and agreed to the proposal, then removed a small single handed crossbow from a holster on her thigh.

"Ladies first," the archer said as Rosalyn checked her weapon of choice.

"It is far too late to be a gentleman," she said tersely, "had you wanted to do so from the start we would not be in this mess. By all means, shoot first."

"If you say so," he grinned and drew an arrow back on his bowstring. The composite bow let out a resounding twang from the bowstring and off in the distance there was a solid thunk as the arrow struck the target. One of the younger men in the group dashed off and inspected the target.

"Dead center!" the lad shouted out and the band of men clapped at the archer's skill.

"Your turn, m'lady," he said as he flourished his cap.

"Uh-huh," Rosalyn simply said. She reached back to the cylinders on her belt and carefully undid the cork cap on the top canister. She deftly removed a crossbow bolt and closed the cork tight. She spun the bolt between her fingers and then loaded it onto the crossbow, pulling the string back and latching it onto the mechanism. The end of the bolt had a small glass vial filled with a purple substance, the sharp bolt head piercing into the cork that stopped the vial. The archer had not taken note of this, however.

"Do you really expect to hit the target from this distance with such a device?" the archer jested. "I could throw an arrow further."

Rosalyn raised her arm and took aim. There was a sharp twing as she pulled the trigger, releasing the bolt into the air. There was a sound of shattering quickly followed by a thunk as the bolt pierced the target. The young boy who had taken cover out of firing range returned to the target and turned to report the outcome.

"Off center, right abov-" he stopped suddenly.

"What's the matter, boy?" the large man bellowed.

"W-what sorcery is this!?" the boy cried out. "Sir Robin's arrow has simply melted away! A-and part of the target!"

"Surely you jest, boy," the archer said as he approached the targeted tree. Rosalyn too strode down slightly behind him, collapsing her crossbow back down into the holster on her thigh. As they approached it could be seen clearly that the center of the target had been eaten away, and while Rosalyn's bolt had been off the mark, it was the only arrow on the target. The smile on the archer's face sunk. He looked at Rosalyn who had distracted herself with attempting to pick something from between her teeth.

"You cheated," he declared. "So you forfeit your money and belongings to us."

"Well, Robin, was it?" she said, flicking something away to the ground at their feet, "I'm afraid I can't let you do that."

Robin began drawing his sword, but before more than half of it had left its scabbard there was a sudden flash that erupted from the ground, emanating from the object Rosalyn had surreptitiously removed from her mouth. Robin shook his head from his daze and withdrew his blade, only to find that Rosalyn was already on the move. She was running directly towards the large man with the her belongings.

Rosalyn slipped right past the man's grasp, flipped backwards and up onto him, knocking him in the head in the process, and removed the wrapped item from his hands. With Rosalyn out of range, Robin had pulled out his bow again and began drawing back an arrow, taking careful aim. Rosalyn spun in the air, the long white sheet unraveling around the item. She landed low with the device in her hands, a long cylinder of wood and steel construction. Robin adjusted his aim. Rosalyn didn't need to.

The sound that erupted from the forest sent wildlife for miles running. This was a sound that had never been heard in this realm before. A sound that defiantly roared like thunder at the heavens now that it was in mortal hands. Robin stood stock still, his composite bow splintered in two rendering it useless. The echo died down, and smoke drifted lazily from the end of Rosalyn's device. She stood and shouldered the weapon that was as long as she was tall.

"W-what is that thing?" Robin asked finally.

"This is my Boomstick."