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Re: Character Stories

#46
Soo...i was in the mood today. Wanted to try something out a bit.
Not Elena-related. And the style might be strange. But anyway, this is mostly here cause i felt like sharing and because i wanted to know what people think about it.
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So, you want to know what I did to get myself thrown in here? You don't want to guess? Pity.
You see, it's nothing special: regicide, starting a revolt, the usual, I'm sure.
It wasn't anything great, some disgruntled in the populace, foreign spies sowing unrest, conspiracies~
Good times, for sure!
And on top of it all? The royals.
Sitting there, reigning, secure in their knowledge that they were safe from threats. Huddled away behind tech, security and walls like the fat maggots they must've known they were.
But oh, what about the threats from within? Someone they thought to know? Someone they believed to control?
I was royalty, you know?
Fifth princess of the kingdom, one of a round dozen, and as many princes. A mess, i can tell you! Entitled brats, the whole lot! Mostly representative, aside from the firsties, of course. We all were distributed all over the place. I was "lucky" to show a rather more...hands-on mindset than the rest, or any kind of respectable "mind" anyway. I just got the good genes there.
"Designer baby"? No way, they only checked the material to be healthy and free of faults before we went into the incubators.
Anyway, all the usual 'princess-y' duties, i sucked at those. Too aggressive, too impatient, pff. They were right, i guess. Also wrong...they stuck me in the general's course. A royal leading the army, looking pretty on parades, yelling at the frontmen from way back, letting them fight and die? Pah! I preferred it at the front myself! Grime and dirt, taking orders, not giving them! That was the life! Utterly satisfying to stomp around in battle armor, shooting at whoever needed to be shot! The troopers respected me after a while for that.

I was fed up, all the royal hubhub and deference sucked. I've hated it from the start! Just wanted it to go away! I never managed to convince my father to just stick me to the grunts, to the frontline! Always do this, do that, check that suitor, pretty up for the masses.
So i went to plan. Take a look at who was who, who wanted what...and who they would fight if given the chance. I took my time, served in the military against the king's wishes. It irked him greatly! It irked him even more when I got to kill people, or was actually shot at.
So i planned...and finally? I thought it was time. Princesses at the palace, princes all out, king and queen present.
It's all so easy when you can tell the guards to give you some extended privacy!
I got my battle armor, stomped to the throne room. Let in by the guards, locked the entry, left alone with the dear rulers of the realm.
Pitiful! Barely any resistance! I could've taken them even without the armor, but they absolutely hated it when i wore it!
After that, broadcasting the deaths, personally denouncing the kingdom, challenging everyone to take the place for themselves. Glorious mayhem!
It's amazing who you can fight with when you ditch the insignia, smudge dirt on the armor and pretend to be a merc. A complete free for all between the army under the remaining royals, the insurrectionists, anarchists and who else was around.
I knew they'd all just love to have my head on a pike, and quickly they got smarter. I was also running out of gear i could pilfer, those suits took maintenance like hell.
So, why die from an angry mob, if you can live to kill another many days!
Was hard though. Lost most of my stuff when i raided that comm center. Got a connection though.
Tartarus Inc. Great people, filled with scum of all trades! And some...interesting programs. I gave them my account data, no need for the money myself, told them to meet me at a certain point.
So now i'm here. Just hope i get to fighting again soon! Can't wait!
Apparently, sometimes stuff might happen.
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Re: Character Stories

#47
This snippet occurs after the Battle of Anba, shortly before Caleb is sent to Tartarus.



The tribunal returned to their large desk, looking imperiously down at Caleb and his fellow defendants. Coltan sat beside him, both still recovering from the injuries they received at Anba. The seat where a lawyer would’ve sat was filled instead with another defendant who Caleb didn’t know, the other man’s eyes slightly glazed by the painkillers that helped him forget his missing arm for the moment.

After a moment of looking over them, the head judge, General Jorsten, spoke. “After examining the evidence, this court finds the defendants guilty of conspiracy against the people of Dashta and treason against the state.” Jorsten’s hard face showed a slight expression of remorse, the man clearly feeling some guilt over what he was doing to the former soldiers in the room. “Since we’re feeling merciful, your punishment is dishonorable discharge and life imprisonment. You will have a few hours to say goodbye to your families. I suggest you make use of them, since you’re going to Tartarus.” The man paused, looking for a moment like he’d swallowed a lemon. “For what it’s worth...I didn’t want it to come to this. But it’s for the good of the planet. I don’t expect you to understand, but it is.”

Caleb looked up at the man he once respected as a symbol of what it meant to serve one’s people and felt like the world was dropping out from beneath him. Coltan looked like he would’ve collapsed if he wasn’t already sitting down, his eyes wide and his breathing quickened. A couple of moans of despair could be heard from the other defendants, and someone was sobbing quietly.

The guards came to escort them out of the nearly empty courtroom, which looked all the bigger and more imposing thanks to the lack of people. The government had declared that the trial would touch on sensitive information, and thus kept the proceedings secret. Now, it was just as clear to the defendants as it was to the judges as to why that had been done- the trial was a sham. Caleb felt sick to his stomach and barely managed to keep from retching as the sheer weight of the betrayal hit him like a truck.

They were led to a waiting area where their families and friends were gathered with worry written on all of their faces, worry that only became more pronounced upon seeing the shattered expressions of the newly-convicted “traitors.” As Caleb approached his parents, his mother engulfed him in a hug before his father could finish opening his mouth. “What happened, Caleb?” he asked, concerned.

Caleb shook his head and struggled to speak around the lump in his throat. “Let’s...just go, guys.” They nodded and led him out, towards some interview rooms. Where normally a prisoner and interrogator would sit, several chairs were placed so the family could sit together. A two-way mirror took up one wall of the otherwise drab room, with multiple cameras adorning the junction between the walls and the ceiling. Coltan and his small family- only his father and sister now that his mother had left- took the room across the hall from Caleb and his family. “Since you two were always close, we thought that maybe we could sit together after we talk here,” Caleb’s mother said as the three sat, giving him a squeeze with the arm she still had around his shoulders. Caleb leaned into it, feeling almost like a child. He remembered what felt like a lifetime ago, when it seemed those arms could protect him from anything…

His father put a hand on his shoulder. “Now, Caleb, what the hell happened in there? They haven’t told us anything.”

Caleb sighed and his mother tightened her arms around him. “On Anba...you know what happened, right?”

His father winced. “Yeah, I heard about the ambushes and all. I figured this had something to do with it.”

“We went in and got hit. Almost everyone died...all my friends, my squadmates...I fukcing ran. And then came the trial. They...they charged us with treason, Dad.”

Caleb’s father looked at him, struck dumb for a moment. “What? Son…”

“We didn’t do shit, Dad! We went on that godforsaken rock, walked into an ambush, and fukcing died! We’re the sacrificial lambs or some shit.” Disgust dripped from every word, some at the planet’s authorities, but mostly at himself.

His father looked at him silently, his expression unreadable. Beside him, Caleb’s mother took a breath. “The trial...w-what happened? Did they…?”

“They did. We’re to be shipped off to Tartarus,” Caleb said, his voice dull. His mother sobbed and clung to him.

His father kept his composure somehow. Caleb never knew how the man managed to do that in the face of almost anything. He almost wished his father was just as visibly distraught as his mother, an irrational hope for something, anything to get to him. "I'm disappointed in you, son," he said decidedly. "Very disappointed."

Caleb saw red. He pulled himself out of his mother’s arms and stood, angry tears in his eyes. “Fukc you, Dad! Just shut the fukc up! They’re all fukcing dead, you old bastard! I should’ve saved them, but I was too weak! I already know, so just shut up!”

After his outburst he stormed out of the room. Coltan’s father and sister were frozen near the door, apparently having been about to knock before Caleb flew off the handle. He shot them an evil look and continued onwards, finding Coltan in the other room. He closed and locked the door behind him and collapsed into a chair beside Coltan, his face in his hands. Coltan wrapped him in a hug that Caleb returned, the two simply comforting each other the best they could.

“I...I can’t believe they’re dead, sometimes,” Coltan said, breaking the silence. “It just seems...surreal. Like a nightmare that I don’t wake up from.”

Caleb nodded. “It just keeps hitting me...I’ll never have them joke about calling me “sir,” never share a drink, never even just...go on patrol at night. Never even see Anna again…” He couldn’t stop himself from breaking down again. Coltan did as well, and the two stayed that way until the guards came to take them, two broken men grieving for their lost friends.
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