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Book 1: The Siege of Fort Vagabond

Chapter 1 Part 2: A Bold Proposal

After dropping off his load at the pantry and throwing a few sodas in the mini fridge Bohdan took a cooler, and filled ten to sixteenish bottles of the sugar goodness inside before carrying it with him past the double oak doors leading into the center of the committee’s sanctuary. Hadrian was late, and the President knew his boys needed some sustenance to get through the coming nonsense.

The big doors opened to a large underground chapel turned clubhouse with pool tables in the long trunk section, and tapestries hanging from the walls depicting hunters and angels slaughtering monsters. With a clank he dropped off his load with Harald, Karl, and the Newguy at the closest pool table before he marched up the dias stairs, and to his seat.

The throne of the President of the Adventure, Hunting, and Liquidation Committee looked over the club headquarters like a fabled hall in King Arthur’s court. Too fancy for this fearless leader, but the opulent seat had been an early inheritance gift from his father so Bohdan wasn’t going to complain. That and the guys liked the gravitas the throne gave the chamber.

The President leaned as far back into his plush hand upholstered hunting chair while he regarded the oversized feral man beast that had stepped back in front of the dias. Charles was human when he wasn’t pumping an ungodly amount of iron, hunting predators with nothing more than a bow and aggression, or trying to convince Bohdan to do something incredibly idiotic. He was a long cry from that spindly middle school football captain who had dragged Bohdan out of his gaming night at three in the morning.

Today Charlie was on the stupid train again. All aboard because the conductor over here was going to make his case why everyone should jump. Heaven help them all because the meathead with the silver tongue always got his way.

“Spring Break is here Bo Bo,” started the red haired youth with sparkling green eyes containing enough mischief to make Bohdan wince at all the responsibility he was doubtlessly about to shirk to appease the manbeast. The Vice President of the Committee didn’t even bother to recognize that Bohdan had stepped out for half a minute for drinks even as the rest of the crew broke out the bottles to soothe their thirst. Charlie was on a mission. Lord have mercy because the ex captain of the football team would have none.

“We need to decide if we’re like every other heathen soyboy out there or if we’re going to make this the kind of Spring Break we’ll tell our grandchildren, no! Our Great grandchildren about.” Charles spread his oversized over testosterone stuffed, but steroid free arms wide. Like a maestro calming the crowd of a booze ridden bar that had found out this was an opera house instead of a strip club.

“By canceling our road trip to the Florida keys, and instead go to Oklahoma to hunt a giant octopus.” This was a statement. Bohdan had heard his old meat headed adventure hungry friend the first time he brought up the concept before the President had excused himself to snatch root beer. Sometimes you just had to lay out the stupid for all to see before they jumped on the locomotive to imbecile vill. Bohdan could tell his skepticism was shared across the AH&L Committee’s lair.

Was it not the stupid train that brought the Adventure, Hunting, and Liquidation Committee into its lauded subterranean clubhouse full of comforts? Yes, but at least that time had involved poltergeist hunting and cryptid shenanigans. Not abandoning their annual, not to mention first time unchaperoned, trip to the Florida Keys with her sparkling Caribbean waves for the muddy waters of Oklahoma.

“Come on! Everyone our age runs off to get drunk in Florida for Spring Break. We should be different from every STD stuffed femboy chasing oversized tail on the beach. And I’m not referring to the marine mammal variety. Not everyone is into whale watching like Goggles over there.” The boy who had let them in that fateful night on the old Apache burial grounds had grown considerably in the last six years as well.

Now the local swim team captain and state wide champion, would’ve been national if he’d cared to risk life and limb to travel to the swim meet in what was left of Chicago, Greggory himself let his baby blues break from his endless medieval warfare simulator on his three screen monitor setup. Above his indignant stare was the prize alligator head they’d pulled out of the Keys last year, making the bamboo planks riding up their jungle wall covering the westside nook that much more exciting. Also, the jungle themed computer corner made their Vietnam war simulator nights much more immersive.

Outside these hallowed walls of the secret basement cleansed of the dreg spiritual squatters they’d exercised from the premise of their younger years, not a soul would’ve called the slim muscled boy with bright blond hair “nerdy”. Yet Goggles would never live down the look he’d developed when they’d all formed up to hunt ghosts.

That unfortunate sunburn the first year he started using headgear on the swim team was a permanent legendary piece of identity in the club. Also his first name was Gregory, and he had a mean sense of humor with endless pranks to make a marine cry to anyone who called him Greg. So Goggles it was amongst the club.

“Last I checked they got octopuses in the Keys. Not to mention not every bikini is a beluga, and not all of us are old men like the taken Fearless Leader over here Charlie.” The eight young men who made up the committee snickered across the underground clubhouse. Bohdan grinned as well while pondering his new old man status.

They were all jealous of course. He was the first of the crew to seal the deal with his lady. The wedding was already in the works for mid fall, and no one was happier to be off the market than this old fearless club president.

Bohdan took a moment to survey his troops. The basement the club resided in was in the shape of a classic gothic cathedral just on a billion sized smaller scale. A cross shape with rounded nooks sitting high on the long hall. On one side was Goggles in the jungle nook with bamboo covered walls and tropical stuffed predator trophies galore. On the easteside was the other nook containing their personal armory and gear storage with slogans above like a wildly abridged translation of Luke 22 verse 36, “ He who doesn’t have a gat better sell his Xbox and buy one.” Or other such classics such as ,”I believe you when you say a fag isn’t a pedo, but my tommygun don’t.”

Here this chamber of tools and honor had an ornate cross down its center inlaid with gold and solid oak around which was a mahogany table with a ragged table cloth where they cleaned their guns as true Christian boys should. On the oak walls were eight rows of solid racks for personal firearms and cubbies of ammo for each member. Each rifle, sidearm, and FMJ round had a story and preference of her user.

For logistical reasons, the club rules specified that each rifle must be of the same caliber, 7.62 for the curious, and a cool yet straightforward 9mm for the sidearms. From there the sky was the limit as long as you provided the mags for any fancy toy you brought to the table. Something that Johan took seriously, and was completing literally as he always did during club meetings...

The Story Will Continue Every Saturday.

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A Bold Proposal panel 5
Bohdan Blood was a busy young man. Being the President of the AH&L Committee in the middle of World War Three did that, but now rumors of witchcraft and Cartel incursions around his Ozark home were making things downright unhealthy. Together with his wily friends Bohdan and company will dodge drafts, hunt cryptids, and burn witches in style to keep their neck of the woods from looking like a New York hellscape. Just another day for the Adventure, Hunting, and Liquidation Committee.
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