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Re: Character Stories

"That was some of the fiercest fighting I've ever been involved with, and I fought on every continent for the past 10 years. We met the Ilthracians afield 2 days out from their capital. They outnumbered us 2 to 1, even with the 3rd, 5th, and 6th Legions bolstering the Auxiliaries. The 6th was a renowned Air Legion, delivering swift death to the enemy in their glorious Jupiter Battlesuits, while the 3rd and 5th were veteran Infantry Legions from the Southern Campaigns, bringing glory to the Republic with their Mars Battlesuits. I was a Centurion in the 3rd at that time, still eager for battle and glory, well before I learned what it truly meant to lead. As the battle began, the 3rd and 5th Legions formed up into our maniples, and began the inevitable march forward. Railgun slug after railgun slug came whistling toward us, but such weapons have no effect on any battlesuit. It takes a direct hit from an enemy tank or artillery to damage a Legionnaire, even then only if it manages to evade our Energy Scutums."

"We closed the distance, hurling our Plasma Pilums as we charged headlong, frightened Ilthracians beginning to rout. Soldier after soldier fell beneath our Arc Gladius, their screams driving us ever onward, onward to victory, onward for the glory of the Republic! However, as we crested the next hill, we soon realized that those 'routed' from earlier now stood shoulder to shoulder, rifles raised. In our foolishness, we drove on, trusting in our suits to protect us, but little did we know that these Ilthracians were outfitted with prototype Plasma weaponry, something even our engineers had only begun to produce."

"It wasn't until the first Legionnaire fell screaming to the ground, a gaping wound in his torso, that we realized the tables had turned. All around me, men fell to the ground clutching stumps where limbs used to be, or screaming in agony as they burned alive, and our momentum ground to a halt. However, Legionnaires didn't train for 10 years just to tuck and run at the first sign of defeat. Orders were quickly given, and the Testudo formation formed. We soon found that although that it offered some protection from the fire raining down on us, the Energy Scutums on those men in front began to fail, and the screams of pain quickly resumed its former volume."

"When at long last we reached the new Ilthracian line, our vengeance was a force to be reckoned with. We sought revenge for those brothers we had lost, men we had known for years, cut down in an instant by those foolish enough to stand against the Republic. At this point, even those of the Mighty 6th came crashing down from the air battle raging above to avenge our fallen brothers, lighting shooting from their Spears as they cut great swaths through the enemy. By the time the battle had ended, 1/3 of the 3rd Legion, and 1/2 of the 5th Legion had been killed, a number far beyond any previous campaign losses. It was a major blow to us, but we never saw such casualties again, taking every precaution to prevent the loss of a highly trained Legionnaire and his irreplaceable battlesuit. However, when the Northern Campaign ended, it was but 5 years before we would face an even greater foe."

- Servius recounting the Battle of Ilthracia

Re: Character Stories

"Every citizen of Roma begins their formal education at the age of 6. Then halfway through, at the age of 11, they are presented with a choice. Bring glory to the Republic through the strength of their body, or their mind. Those who choose intellectual pursuits continue their education, ending at age 16, at which point they choose to specialize once again, whether that be in Biomechanics, Materials Engineering, Theoretical Physics, or any number of other fields available to them. They then attend university another 6 years, at which point they graduate and pursue science for the glory of the Republic."

"However, beginning at age 11, they also receive basic military training and protocol, ending with enlistment into a local militia group upon reaching the age of 16. They continue to drill and hone their skills throughout university, until graduation, at which they may choose to continue enlistment or are free to pursue their field. This ensures that should Roma every come under attack, even our scientist and engineers are militarily competent and ready to defend the Republic."

"Those who choose martial pursuits one day become legionnaires. These 'Tirones' continued normal education, but heavy emphasis was placed upon the more martial fields, and Military Procedure and Tactics were introduced. Mental and Physical Conditioning become the foremost extracurricular activities, and by the age of 16 a 'Tirones' body and mind were hardened to any sort of trauma they might encounter in battle. Upon reaching age 16, formal education ended and 'Tirones' were inducted into their first Legion postings. At this point, they become 'Munifex', the rank and file Legionnaire."

"Every citizen of Roma also receives genetic augmentations and therapy upon enlistment, the former of which is removed upon discharge. 'Munifex', and auxiliaries, receive a Muscular Enhancement and Cellular Regeneration augment to increase strength and durability on the field of battle. Militia receive a Neural Inducer and Cognitive Redundancy augment to increase agility and perception, tactical flexibility being their greatest weapon. A new augment is typically received upon assuming a command position, and continues through the ranks. Upon reaching Praetor, I had received 2 augments in nearly ever aspect, the exceptions being Hacking and Robotics, both are of which are typically left to specialists within each Legion. All of them were of course removed before I was released onto the Tartarus. I used to be a 214 cm tall, 136 kg giant. I could run twice as fast as the best athletes, lift 3 times as much, dodge rail slugs, and jump over 6m. Your average Legionnaire is a force to behold on the battlefield, but me, I made killing an art. Ah, but I lost that privilege when I lost my honor..."

- Servius recounting the 'Path' every Roman citizen was offered.

Re: Character Stories

Blake walked through the Tartarus hallways. He was alone, but yet optimistic for the mission and eager to prove his worth. A sudden wave of pain overcame Blake, causing him to fall to the ground and grunt. He saw flashes and images in his head, though they weren’t quite thoughts, more like a film being played in front of him. He realised he could not see, though his eyes were open, his vision hijacked by these rogue visions. He saw a planet and a fleet… It didn’t appear special but he felt its importance. Covered in a thick blanket of white, he assumed it must’ve been snow. ‘Why is this planet important?’ he wondered, his thoughts almost floating through his head like debris through space, it appeared to be a tundra planet, which while it could be colonised is certainly nothing to freak out about.

He let go of the fleet, returning to a distant viewpoint. He tried to clear his head, to make sense of the unfocused memories but he couldn’t. The last thing he saw of the vision was blemishes… Glass perhaps? A view screen? He couldn’t know for certain and the vision left him with many more questions than answers, as well as a pounding headache. His vision returned slowly, fading in from complete darkness. He forced himself up, feeling nauseous and disorientated.

“Are you okay, Blake?” someone asked from a direction he could not quite discern.
“I… Think so, I’m alright now, just a bit of head pain.” He replied slowly. When he looked up, there was no one anywhere near him in the hallway. ‘Great, now I’m imagining things’ he thought to himself.
<Detritus> I went up to my mom and said "hey... do you feel like giving five dollars to black lives matter?" and she laughed and said no :v <Black--Snow> my life does matter though ~~ added by Hema on Jun 11 2020 (2770)

Re: Character Stories

This is long overdue.

Francis - ... 33#p117548: Hilarious as usual. Works quite well. :) Liked it.

Triggerhappy - ... 33#p117554: I'm going to assume most of this is exaggerations or hyperbole. For instance, I don't think lithobraking is survivable, and turning an entire mountain range into a crater... well, while possible, it's just not feasible. Also that would probably shatter the planet. (Not obliterate, mind, but mess it up just enough that you're basically going to lose the whole surface.)

Ysavva - ... 33#p117868: Works. I liked it, actually, quite a lot. Neat to see Ysavva's backstory. Tartarus really took her down a notch.

Foreigner - ... 33#p118808: This was actually very well written! Bravo. :D I liked it. I was actually worried about this one because I thought you'd held the trial on Earth or something and had decided all of Earth was crazy and worshipped FSM. ._. I glanced at it before, I think.

Triggerhappy - ... 33#p119027: Bits and pieces here and there don't quite make sense. Feel uncomfortable about much of it. It's a stretch, but not technically impossible... except for the hard landing. Lithobraking = instant death. Nothing survives that, in this universe or the REKT universe.

Aegagrus - ... 97#p119690: I miss Aegagrus. :( It all works though, and is amusing as heck. About what I'd expect from Silver.

Triggerhappy - ... 97#p119697: Genocide 1: Not canon. Your maths need help, as others have stated. Genocide 2 and 3: Not canon. It sounds like you'ore trying to kill off Mimir. That doesn't fly with me. Nor does killing off an entire planet when a ship collided with it... which doesn't seem to make sense. Wrecking a colony ship that contained a billion people feels like a stretch, but it's vague enough it could fly, although it doesn't remotely explain why the colony ship was above a world that was already populated. Genocide 4-8: I can't reasonably consider this canon either. The amount of time it would take (and the amount of energy) to "glass" a planet is simply beyond anything humans have accomplished.

Dinosawer - ... 97#p119705: I really liked this. xD Funny and really sets an atmosphere. If you split it into proper paragraphs it would be great! You could make a written entry for an LTFC.

Payback-13 - ... 15#p127367: Kind of hard for this not to be canon. You didn't include anything about the universe at all. :lol:

Servius - ... 30#p127417: Works and fits in surprisingly well with the universe. Your second post is neat too. I like all the detail you put into it. Really gives me a better sense of who Servius is. I think I needed that.

Blake - ... 30#p127589: I remember you discussing this with me. Nicely written. :)
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Re: Character Stories

Theme song: Kaleo - Way Down We Go

Exsanguination, when looked up in any number of dictionaries, was always described as the act of draining an object of blood. Where the Red Stripes was concerned, these objects were invariably people. It was said that in the slums of Nyvan IV there were only two things that mattered, your word and your coin. But when either was lacking, you would eventually have to pay with your blood. Kalah watched as her gang leader sliced open one Garret Wilson, her friend and a former member of the Stripes, while these thoughts ran through her mind. She stood at the forefront of a semi-circle, with roughly fifty of her brothers and sisters in attendance to the spectacle Cyrus put on.

"You see the thing is, Kalah." Cyrus stated casually over the muffled screams of his victim. "The reason we've been the top dogs on this planet for so long, despite all we face, is that we're a brotherhood, a family you could say, not only here but all over the world." He paused to rip his serrated knife out of Garret's chest. "Families stick together, we help each other out, isn't that right? We protect our brothers and sisters as if they were flesh and blood."

"Yes." Kalah answered. At the age of seventeen she knew she had no reason to be watching a friend die. She should have been out partying, or getting a boyfriend, or studying for school, or any other number of silly things teenage girls did at that age.

"Which is why it dissapoints-" Cyrus emphasized the last word by driving his knife into Garret's leg. "-me when I have to drive my point across to my family." A fresh scream, muffled by the rags stuffed into Garret's mouth did nothing to alleviate her guilt. Garret was..had been, her best friend. Or at least the closest thing to one after her parents died and she fell in with the wrong crowds. She could do nothing to help him though, she wouldn't even try. What others might have seen as cowardice she saw as common sense. Even if she somehow got Garret out of their hideout, fled past the many other armed members in the room and got him to some form of safety, what then? She would be hunted, and made an example of just like he was now.

"If you're in our family we look after you. We feed you, clothe you, give you a livelihood and don't ask for much in return. Which is why I don't understand why anyone would take that kindness and piss on it." Cyrus spat on Garret form. "I have no patience for rats or thieves, Kalah." Amongst all the other members in the room Cyrus had singled her out because she had been under their 'protection' the longest. One of the few who could be trusted, but had yet to be fully inducted into their circle. Of all the people in the dilapidated warehouse they called home, Kalah was considered to be Cyrus' personal protege. She knew she would become a fully fledged member of their bloody gang if she lived to see the age of eighteen.

Cyrus stood then to his full height, at just over six feet tall with a burnt face and black mohawk, he was a sight to behold. One that cowed any sane being. Kalah ignored Garret as he whimpered on the floor, unable to break eye contact with the man who had basically been a father figure to her, in his own extremely twisted way.

"You're a smart kid Grimm, got a good sense of things in between those ears. So I want you, of all people, to take this lesson to heart." The towering man leaned close to her ear. "Keep doing well, and I'll consider making you a lieutenant when you pass your initiation." The woman drew on all her inner strength to look him in the eye and nod. Her faux confidence was the only thing that kept her poker face strong while cold adrenaline ran through her veins, making her her heart thud in her ears and her hands shake.

"Let this be a lesson to all of you!" Cyrus roared at the room as he pointed to Garret's form. "Traitors, thieves and junkies have no place in the Stripes, not in this city or any other. This rat-" He emphasized his words by kicking Garret in his stomach. "Has been caught selling information on us, to the Trinity no less. He has put every one of his family members in danger, and for what? Money?" The gang leader's angry fire died out in an instant. In the space of a moment he went from being an unassailable force, to a worn out husk of a man that one wouldn't think his frame could convey. All thirty-five of his years showed as he sighed and shook his head "The information he sold got Tejas killed last night." At that, a murmur broke through the crowd, with some angry exclamations. Tejas was well known and loved in the Stripes, he had also been a close friend to her leader.

Kalah could see the way Cyrus manipulated the Stripes' emotions. He ruled their hearts and minds, if not through respect, then through anger or fear. She could see the way they looked at Garret now, disgust written plain on their faces. As if it had never died, her leader's fire returned.

"We have rules, codes that are not broken under any circumstances, because they keep us whole, they keep us strong. And if you break these rules then you're no better than the filth out on the streets, you don't deserve the Red Stripes, and it certainly won't want you. What happens when you cross our family?" Cyrus asked them then, voice filled with fury.

"You pay the blood price." Kalah murmured in sync with the rest of his listeners' shouts.

"You pay the blood price." Cyrus affirmed, in the moment of silence afterwards he took his time to look everyone in the eye. "This goes for all of you. There will be times when you will have to choose between your family and yourself. When those times come I want you to think carefully about your choice because meeting loyalty with betrayal spits on the standing pillars of our organization. It's not an offense we take lightly. Any consequences from such a choice will fall directly on your shoulders and any pain received must be paid with pain given. We protect our family, even if it has to be protected from one of our own." There was a general murmuring of agreement in the ranks.

"I have another matter to discuss." Cyrus stated to the crowd, which immediately quietened. "Kalah Grimm, step forward."

The woman felt her blood freeze, but obeyed. Suddenly the collective attention of fifty-odd gang members were all trained on her. Cyrus walked back up to her and pulled out his pistol, her heart skipped a beat. The part of her mind that wasn't petrified morbidly wondered if he was focusing his attention on her all this time because he was going to kill her too. She did, after all, have a hand in helping Garret. He had wanted out of the Stripes and tried to broker a deal with the Trinity for sanctuary. She was the one who had gotten the information for him. She had no idea why she thought she'd get away with it when Garret was lying in a pool of his own blood.

"I think it's past time that you join the Red Stripes as a fully blooded sister." Cyrus told her when he flipped his pistol and handed it to her handle first. He smiled at her cynically. "The Stripes have no shortage of enemies and it's normally tradition to kill one to be accepted into the circle. Fortunately for you, we have an enemy in our very midst, and you're going to prove your loyalty here and now." Resignation gave way to shock, then relief for not having to die. Guilt reared its ugly head not a second after and slammed into her with the force of a dreadnought. She had refrained from spilling blood all this time and had been more successful than most, now, under her circumstances, she had to trade Garret's life for her own. She had to kill the brother that looked out for at least one family member his whole life; her.

The cold metal in her palm chilled her spine as she took the weapon. Under the watchful eyes of Cyrus, she couldn't say a thing to Garret. Couldn't apologize, couldn't beg for forgiveness, nor could she grieve if she did find the strength to do the deed. The gun shook in her grip as she looked at Garret with pleading eyes. He stared right back through the haze of pain he was obviously battling and she found only one thing, forgiveness.

"Blood of the covenant is thicker than water of the womb!" Cyrus shouted to those assembled around them. In that moment, Kalah felt hate. Hate for every single one of them. Miscreants and vagabonds, the scum of society that she had joined out of desperation when she was a clueless little girl. They cried for vengeance and it sickened her. As she lifted the pistol her hand stopped shaking, strengthened with resolve she never knew she had.

I'm sorry, Garret. She thought mentally and pulled the trigger, once, twice then a third time. The rounds ripped into his heart and she watched his form still. "Brothers and sisters! We have a new family member in our midst!" Cyrus cried out to the crowd. They answered with deafening cheers and whistles, she was swarmed, patted on the shoulders, hugged and kissed. But Cyrus' reaction was the worst of all, the pure pride he showed in his 'protege' made her feel filthy. In a crowd of people she had known, laughed and cried with for more than half her life, she felt absolutely alone. Alienated.

It was then that Kalah Grimm realized something she had known for quite some time. She would never be a normal woman and never have a normal life. Even if she went kicking and screaming, something would always drag her down, because she wasn't in a fairytale where everything would eventually come right.

Hers was an bitter bloody story that would conclude with an unhappy bloody end.

Re: Character Stories

Why We Kill, Part 1

Confederation Hideout 1
Heavy Infantry Barracks

Samantha was screaming at the comm device. She has been doing that for the past thirty minutes.
For an officer in her position it would be normal, if only there was someone on the other end of the call. The comm, however, has been turned off for twenty nine minutes out of the thirty she has been screaming at it for.

In her defence, however, she had a good reason to be this pissed. Even if she was exaggerating slightly.

The last name Triggerhappy was infamous in the Confederate military. It was spoken with fear and a strong urge to run and hide somewhere safe, so as to protect oneself and everything one valued.

The unpleasant emotions associated with this last name were created by Carter Triggerhappy, currently the admiral of the Confederate navy. This man has been known to cause damage to everything and everyone within literal light years of his position. When ordered to defend a star system with a fleet, one could fully expect to find the system fully devoid of life and the neighboring systems captured by the fleet within the month.

You placed a Triggerhappy in charge if you wanted more damage done. To everything.

Samantha, the Confederate infantry general, was screaming at a dead comm because she was just told that a Triggerhappy was joining her armor platoon. And considering the fact that Carter Triggerhappy was still in command of the fleet, it could only mean his son was now under her command. But which one...

"General Keith!" Boomed a voice.

"-GOD DAMN-- WHAT??" Samantha spun around to face the voice.

"General, who the fuk are you screaming at so vigerously?" The Head Council Director of the Confederation asked from the doorway.

"Sir, you, SIR." Samantha straightened in a salute, her eyes on the man standing behind the director.

"As you were. And I am guessing you are pissed at the fact that I am placing Jimmy here under your command, yes?" The director pointed at the man behind him.

Jimmy, the youngest of the two Triggerhappy brothers, looked like a small child in a toy store. His head was turning left and right as he took in the sights of the combat suits, weapons and equipment stacked throughout the barracks. In training he only dealt with virtual or mock-up weapons and armor. For him it was like seeing a cool toy on the TV, and then going to the store and getting the real thing.

Jimmy felt happy.

Samantha, however, felt quite different.

"Sir, this man will be nuisance. He has only basic combat training, no combat experience, no cybernetics, and he is a VIP!"

That got Trigger's attention. "Actually, I have a higher combat and tactical training level than most of your simple grunts, or even your squad commanders. I also have officer training. That automatically places me second in command in any platoon you put me in. Sir." He smiled.

Samantha gaped at the young man. How dare he?

Yet, he was right. His file showed a rank just below platoon leader. Protocols required him to be placed second in command, even if he was completely useless in combat. His education was higher than expected.

Samantha closed her mouth, rubbed her jaw and turned, yelling down the barracks, "John!"

"Sir!" A young man fell off one of the bunk beds, jumped up off the floor and ran up to the general. "Sir?"

"Trigger, this is Platoon Leader John Dason. He is my most experienced platoon leader, even if he is young. He is know to be able to lead a platoon quite well, and never calls upon his Second in command to for either advice or help. Therefore, he did not have one. Until now. John, this is Jimmy Triggerhappy, your new Co. I expect you to keep him out of combat as long as possible. Kapish?"

"Yes sir." The man saluted, glancing at Jimmy in disgust.

"Please, John, don't die. I do not want a Triggerhappy in charge."

"Understood. Sir."

"Trigger get do---" John's yell was interrupted by an energy beam slicing through him. His body collapsed on the scorched ground.

"Oh fuk." Trigger looked down at his commander's body.

Trigger was in charge.

Re: Character Stories

"The Republic did not always have the Battlesuits. Our people came upon the first in a massive vault, stumbled upon after a mine floor collapsed. Inside were 5,000 Mars Battlesuits, named as such for our peoples ancient Pantheon. This number became the basis for a Roman Legion, and thus the 1st Legion was formed. As it happens, this was but a small stockpile, as we would go on to find vaults that contained 50,000 Suits, though typically varied in type."

"The Republic made general use of 6 different Suit types, though some specialist Suits did exist. Ground Legionnaires wore the venerable Mars Battlesuits, Air Legionnaires wore the glorious Jupiter Battlesuits, and Sea Legionnaires wore the mighty Neptune Battlesuit. Another type, the elusive Pluto Battlesuit, was made use of, but few outside the Legion even knew it existed. These were used in space combat or any extraterrestrial combat, though the full capabilities of it were not known at the time U-235 was destroyed. Our elected leader, the Consul, wore a unique Suit, the only one of it's kind we found. The magnificent Saturn Battlesuit. A beautiful, gleaming suit, covered in precious gems and golden filigree and leaf, it literally filled a room with light upon entering. The Consul's guard, the Praetorians, wore Janus Battlesuits, which were wrought with golden filigree and royal purple."

"Regardless of the type, each Suit made its wearer nigh invulnerable to most conventional weaponry available, to us and our enemies. It was only at the cusp of Plasma Weaponry that the Suits became vulnerable. Even then only a direct hit could cause damage, so Legionnaires still trusted upon their Suits to see them through their charges. As an offensive weapon, each Suit had an Energy Scutum upon its left vambrace, powered by the Suit itself. Every Suit also had approximately 6 Pilum on the right forearm, though the type depended on the Suit. Thanks to the Neural Networking linked to each Legionnaire within, one could simply think about throwing a Pilum, and it would be in hand. This cognizant link allowed the Legionnaire and Suit to move as one, preventing any sort of lack of movement or range of motion."

"These suits were extremely advanced and sophisticated pieces of technology, certainly more than anything aboard the Tartarus, perhaps more than most Human Empire have access to. The Republic had theories regarding their origin, but we'll save that for another time."

- Servius recounting the finding and general use of the Roman Battlesuit

Re: Character Stories

So you want to hear my story. Alright, here's my tale.

Three years ago I was working for a security software company that had ties to the REKT program. While the job was often challenging it didn't pay all that well. I started researching how the stock market worked and even made some trades here and there. I eventually found a few good trade opportunities and jumped on them. I ended up earning several thousand dollars and decided that I wanted to withdraw the money into my private account. The transfer took a few seconds to completes but I didn't suspect anything. I then logged off of the computer and went to bed. I awoke the next morning and while I was getting ready for work the door of my home got busted down by a squad of police in full body armor. The next thing I knew, I was sentenced to the REKT program for stealing a quarter of a million credits from a local bank.

If I can get through these ten missions in one piece I may take some time to find out who framed me into this mess. If I discover who it was, they can be sure, the skills I've learned through this program have made me a far more deadly adversary than I previously was.

Edited to improve flow and quality of story.
Last edited by BFett on Sat Aug 27, 2016 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Character Stories

"Approximately halfway through the Republic's second period of aggressive expansion, the Eastern Campaigns, we encountered a people whose culture and society was remarkably similar to our own, albeit somewhat more totalitarian. Up until this point, all encountered peoples had civilization that was vastly different than our own. Their language, culture, social structure, governing body. All distinct from our own. The only similarity lie in us being "humans", as galactic standard defines them. Even then, they were often of different color and build than ourselves. So to encounter a group that nearly mimicked ourselves was an incredible discovery. The Republic immediately extended diplomatic courtesies, and embassies were established in the capitals. For the remainder of the Eastern Campaigns, our relationship grew toward one another, and much goodwill was exchanged. Shortly after the campaign ended however, things began to sour."

Their reigning Caesar, Nero Commodus Agrippa, allowed their empire to cripple and buckle under the weight of its internal strife, and buried discordance between our people bubbled to the top. While we exhibited many of the same "noble" qualities within our cultures, theirs possessed more barbarism than our own. They believed the peoples they conquered beneath them, and thus took them as slaves, something our people frowned upon. Having a Caesar, they also believed the people could not adequately rule themselves, perhaps their most drastic departure from our own Republic. As time went on, they began to demand more and more from us, be it denarii, food, or manpower. It reached a point however, where we could not maintain our aid and our growing Republic. Thus, supplies exchanged decreased dramatically, unfortunately hastening the speed at which the Empire crumpled. Soon, famine began to spread, and slave rebellions and mass desertions became commonplace. A steady stream of refugees began making their way into the Republic."

"The refugee were accepted into our fold, as long as they upheld our values and sanctions. For the next 3 years, people flooded into the Republic, fleeing the civil strife and invading hordes as the Empire thrashed in it's death woes. Then one day, the Republic received news that the Empire had fallen. The capital was overrun, the royal family massacred, and all those loyal were killed or fled. Thankfully, the core of the capital was spared from most of the ravages that had gripped the Empire for so long. The invading peoples, later to be known as the Vannagaths, took up residence and converted it to a city of their own, maintaining and improving upon the city's infrastructure. Fortunately, the city's records and libraries were spared and added to, so when the Republic retook Byzantium during the Second Eastern Campaigns, all the accumulated knowledge of the Empire was integrated into our own."

"This became one our of greatest victories, proving to the denizens of Terra we were not to be trifled with. Perhaps had we been more diligent however, we would seen it for the grave mistake it truly was."

- Servius recounting the Great Schism, part I

Re: Character Stories

"When the Northern Campaign ended, our conquest of Terra was basically complete. We still encountered isolated pockets of resistance in areas where our power had yet to solidify, but nothing of concern or note. For the next 5 years, we rebuilt and retrofitted infrastructure damaged by our campaigns, integrated the conquered peoples into our society, and share knowledge freely so we could push our Republic to even greater heights. All that would come to a screeching halt on the Idus Martiae, 1000."

"Not long after the Empire began to crumble and refugees started pouring in, the highest echelons of our government began to hear rumors and whispers of a splinter group forming among the refugees. Those who still wished to uphold the Empires cause, but forward thinking enough to see it would need to die before it could be reborn. At the time, our government hoped and thought it would die down as the Empire plunged further into darkness, and ignored them. A grave error that was indeed. Some years later, about halfway through the Second Eastern Campaign, when the Republic retook Byzantium, the group quickly seized power within the city and set up a shadow government. After being discovered, it was quickly hunted down and destroyed, or so we thought. Whispers of rumors would continue to trickle out about the Imperial Cult, but every time they were tracked down, they slipped away and fled back into the shadows elsewhere. It was only later we learned why: They had infiltrated some of the highest levels of our government, watching our every move, strategizing, waiting for the opportune moment to strike. That moment came on Idus Martiae."

"Idus Martiae marks an extremely important date within the Republic. The Founding Day. This was one especially important for 2 additional reasons. 1: Terra was now ruled by a single sovereign entity, The Republic; 2: It marked our 1000 year anniversary. So it was the Imperial Cult chose to strike when we were at our strongest, but also our weakest. Grand celebrations were thrown in every major city. Athletic games, Academic fairs, spectacular feasts, and massive parades featuring Auxiliaries from the province, and those Legions which had helped conquer it. I myself was in Roma celebrating with my family when it began. Almost all at once, a planet that had been at relative peace for 5 years was thrown back to the brink of total chaos."

"That day would become one of the darkest Terra, and myself, had ever witnessed."

- Servius recounting the Great Schism, part II

Re: Character Stories

"Things might have been different."

"I might have been several more feet away and avoided the explosion that knocked me almost senseless and covered the area in dust and smoke."

"But fate wasn't kind."

~Dak Perkins

"INCOMING!" yelled Sergeant Ronald Lee as he stepped behind the wall of a building. A barrage of bullets sprayed down the street forcing the company to take cover. Dak peered over a low wall at the enemy position. The rebel forces had fortified a two-story building at the end of the street and had a clear line-of-sight with two machine-gun nests. He turned to Sergeant Dev Marcus and gave several signals due to the noise of the gunfire. Marcus nodded and gave out a shrill whistle. Within five minutes, a group had huddled down nearby while some others traded shots in the street. Captain Tallmadge took over from there.

"Alright, here is the building that is fortified up ahead. Here is where we are. And here is where that dumb fucker Major Yasa is supposed to be with his government troops. His men were supposed to be the main front while we flank, but these backwater fukctards and their backwards religious beliefs aren't doing their job. They want us to wipe out rebels but they won't help with the job. At least they are paying us a shit-ton or else I'd tell them where to stick their holy book. So here is how we unfukc this disaster. Dak, I want you, Sergeants Lee and Marcus, Corporal Hoyt, and Privates Beckett, Desmond, Samuel, Elliot, Torrell, Royce, Weber, and...fukc it, take Davenport too. He's barely good enough for a bullet shield but maybe he will figure it out. I want you to try going around wide right and hitting those book-fukcing morons where it hurts. Meanwhile, I'll keep them looking this way until they realize someone is knocking on their backdoor. Once that happens, we're gonna pop smoke grenades and move up as quickly as possible but only if those machine gun nests aren't up. They are fortified so damn well that any rockets aren't getting through. Kind of wish we had air support but they are occupied elsewhere. Gonna have to do this the old fashioned way. Any questions? No? Don't die. I invested a lot of time into raising you all," said Ted Tallmadge as he drew in the dirt, pointed, and swore often. Dak nodded after receiving his orders and gathered his group together.

It didn't take too long for the group to move from building to building in a large arc in order to flank the enemy building. They ran into the occasional sentry or explosive trap but managed to avoid any injuries. Finally, the group had eyes on the right flank of the target building. Like Captain Tallmadge had mentioned rather angrily, there was no sign of the 'Republican Army' forces. They were probably waiting until things seemed almost over before sweeping in to claim the glory. Dak took out his binoculars and scanned the area between them and the building. He counted no fewer than a dozen armed men who probably had no formal training at all, but the buildings all over the area were wired with explosives and mines. Not exactly the easiest approach. These guys were not taking any chances. There was no chance of advancing through the buildings without taking an hour, and the captain was not going to wait an hour. Dak waved the group around and knelt in the dirt.

"Okay, we have twelve targets. Three at the building windows, and nine scattered around the street in various amounts of cover. I will advance up the front with Marcus, Weber, Davenport, Royce, and Elliot. Lee, I want you to provide covering fire with Hoyt, Becket, Desmond, Samuel, and Torrell. Marcus, Davenport, and Elliot will be carrying the shields so we can have some mobile cover. Royce, Weber, and myself will pick targets and take them down fast. We are going to be moving quick so make sure nobody flanks us or else our shields won't be anything more than sleds to drag our bodies away on. Questions? Comments?" asked Dak as he quickly drew in the dirt and looked around. Davenport looked as white as a ghost but he had better grow some balls now or else he was going to get him killed. Dak made sure to make Davenport his shield because if the idiot planned on ditching, it was going to be soon and he was going to be made a human shield if he tried. No questions came up and no one argued his idea. They knew that the explosives made the situation delicate but time was of the essence. Nobody wanted to be in this fukcing desert country any longer than they had to be.

Dak lined his group up at the front of the building just inside of the door and gave the go-ahead. Sergeant Lee and his group began firing upon the enemy combatants and killed five of them instantly. The other ones began scrambling to figure out where the shots were coming from. Dak then signaled for his group to advance. Shields went up and the charge began. Two more enemies fell to the covering fire as they tried to wrap their minds around the attack they were facing.

"GRENADE!" screamed Davenport as he prepared to turn. Dak grabbed him by the back of his uniform and swung him in the direction of the grenade and screamed "SHIELD UP" in his ear. Davenport froze for half a second but made the right decision to drop down and slam the shield into the hard dirt. Dak knelt behind him and placed his shoulder against his comrades back. The blast of the grenade sent both of them off of their feet, but they were quickly behind the shield again. Dak smacked the back of Davenport's back and pointed forward, and the two of them advanced. Dak raised his rifle up and swiveled it from target to target, taking the time to fire two to three rounds before moving onto the next enemy. By the time another minute passed, all enemies had been killed and they reached the rear door of the building. They stacked up beside the door and Dak hand signaled the group to flash and clear. Lee nodded as their support group advanced up the street and regrouped. Dak and Marcus tossed in concussion grenades and advanced the moment the deafening blast was heard. Dak took down two enemies to his left as Marcus moved right, followed closely after by Royce, Davenport, and Hoyt. The rebel combatants were not skilled at all. Many held their weapons awkwardly and fired without aiming at all. It was a slaughter. Dak approached the machine-gun nests and tossed a grenade in on their position, blasting them into bits. He heard the whistle of Captain Tallmadge's advance and he moved to secure the rest of the building. Then everything when to hell.

"OH SHIT!" cried Davenport as half of the building disappeared in a blast that filled the area with smoke and debris. Shouts of pain and yells for a medic began. Bullets began ricocheting around and Dak could not get a read on the enemy positions. As the smoke cleared, he saw that Elliot and Royce were down with shrapnel wounds and his sergeants were trying to fend off a counter-attack. Dak quickly ordered Elliot and Royce hauled off while the others provided covering fire. Then he saw what was coming: The rebel fighters had captured a Republican Army Light Armored Personnel Carrier with a light cannon mounted on the top. They practically drove it into the building. They might have stood a chance if they hadn't moved into close quarters with it, and Dak took advantage of this foolish mistake. He whistled and signalled for Marcus to throw a demolition charge at the side of the L-APC and then fall back. Everything after that worked out perfectly, and the group began to retreat to avoid the blast. However, it exploded into a ball of fire and shrapnel before they were clear. Dak was lifted off of his feet by the blast, felt shrapnel tear through his abdomen, right leg, and left arm before being thrown against a far wall. As his vision began to fade, he saw blurry figures running towards him with weapons raised and pointed at him. He managed to unholster his pistol and fire four times before the butt of a rifle hit him in the face.

When Dak woke up, he was in a dank and dirty room with bars for a door. He tried to sit up but his body screamed in pain. His wounds were bandaged but looked like a poor job from his experiences. Then shouts reached his ears and the cell door swung open. A man wearing a Republican Army uniform marched into the room and glared at him.

"Ah, the murderer is awake. Good, I was hoping to tell you when your execution will take place." said the man as he clenched his fists.

"Murderer? What do you mean?" replied Dak, confused as to what was going on.

"Then you deny it? You have the gall to deny killing three of my men?! After they saved your lives from destruction?!" yelled the man, who looked to be an officer. The conversation went downhill even further and after ten minutes, the officer stormed out and Captain Tallmadge stepped into the room. He knelt down beside Dak's bed and had a grim look on his face.

"Look son, things aren't looking too good at the moment. We were advancing towards the stronghold when half of the building exploded. When I found you, you had just fired your pistol into a group of republican soldiers and the officer who was leading them. Unfortunately, the officer and two others died. Now, I tried explaining to them that you weren't in your right state of mind based on your injuries and your head had a nasty gash in it, but they wouldn't have any of it and hauled you off. So now, as it stands, they are trying to have you executed and soon." said Tallmadge quietly. Dak went pale and his stomach felt sick. He tried explaining that he hardly remembered the republican troops and that they must have been the ones who obliterated the APC before he was clear and threw everything off, but his captain simply nodded and sighed. Soon after that, the republican officer entered again.

"So, is the boy ready to face his execution?" growed the man. Captain Tallmadge stood up and faced the officer.

"Alright, I don't think the boy deserves an execution for an accident that occurred while he was barely conscious from the blast. He was clearly hallucinating from his injuries." explained the mercenary captain.

"Accident?! Next thing you will say is that one of your 'men' is worth the lives of ten of our people! You mercenaries come only when gold is waved under your noses and you care not for the laws and rules that we have. The soldier will be executed in accordance to our gods and laws. His life must be forfeit." retorted the officer with clenched fists. Tallmadge sighed again. looked at Dak, and then pulled out a data pad.

"Then I have one last suggestion that might be a compromise." said Captain Tallmadge as he handed the data pad to the republican officer. "If his life must be forfeit, give it to these guys."

The officer took the data pad, read what was written there, and looked back at Tallmadge.

"Suicide missions?" he asked.

"None has made it through ten missions and lived according to what I have read. Most die within the first few missions in some gruesome horrible way. No way to escape either." replied the mercenary captain.

Then there was a long pause and the officer excused himself.

"Dak, I'm afraid I can't get you out of this mess, but I can give you another shot. I'm gonna have you turned over to the Tartarus. I'm sure you've heard of it. Now, most people do die in the first few missions but those who have a calm head on their shoulders typically live much longer. Whether or not anyone has made it through the ten, I don't actually know that but he doesn't have to know. Either way, I can't bail you out of this without getting our mercenary company involved in a war we can't win." said Captain Tallmadge as he knelt by Dak's side. The republican officer re-entered, gave his consent to the proposal, and two days later Dak was handed over to the Tartarus for multiple counts of homicide.
Image "Everyone needs to have their avatar's edited to have afros." -Charley Deallus

Re: Character Stories

*looks inside* Hoo boy...that's a lotta dust!...Hey, Frank! Come over here, man! Got a job for you!...

Shenanigans aside...First finished snippet for Elena White.
Situated at the correctional facility, happening over a few minutes or so...


"Now eat up like a good girl and then we'll go outside later, yes?"
"Okay! Baibai!"

Elena waved cheerfully at the departing nurse before digging in with glee.
She could barely wait for going out! The weather was great! Birds were singing! And she liked the flowers and all!
The door shut with a near inaudible click. A slight shiver crawled up the girl's back.
Perhaps they'd read that book again! Words were hard, but fun! Not food though…

Elena scratched an itch on her arm while chewing. She'd eat her meal like a good girl and wait for the nice girl to come back so they could go outside!
Her shoulders hunched a little as she slowly worked her jaws, looking at the break-proof window. That thing was a surprise when she had first smacked into it!
A little bit later she still sat on the bed, the meal laid half-eaten and forgotten next to her.
Instead she nibbled on a strand of hair, smile notably diminished. The bright walls dulled the light filtering in, birdsong filtered through an annoying buzzing…she harshly scratched at her arm and pulled another strand of hair.

The tablet crashed onto the floor, vegetables and sauce splattering everywhere. She had no idea when she had gotten on her feet, no interest in that, but knew she needed to move!
Elena rushed around the bed, stumbled and crashed against the wall painfully. She lunged at the door handle with a choked cry, overextended.

The door swung open, an alarmed looking nurse was on his way to the room, staring at the girl splayed on the floor. Even as he got closer, Elena's smile slowly bloomed again. Face pale, eyes dilated, bloody lips and raw scratches on her arm. But the door was open. Life was good again!
Apparently, sometimes stuff might happen.
- - - - - - - -

Re: Character Stories

This is a snippet for Caleb Moore set during the Battle of Anba, the battle in which Caleb's friends and comrades were killed during a raid on a terrorist base, directly setting him up to be used as a scapegoat for the defeat and sent to Tartarus.


The squad crept through the decrepit corridor, weapons trained nervously into the darkness. Anba, and especially the “abandoned” pirate base they were making their way through, was a miserable hellhole; but it was one they needed to hit. The Black Sun terrorist group had gone too far when they bombed Dashta’s parliament, and the PDF was sent in here to clean up the bastards responsible. Corporal Caleb Moore silently waved his fireteam ahead, the other half of the squad staying back on overwatch. The silence was oppressive, but necessary- if they could catch the terrorists by surprise, this would all be over. Caleb allowed himself a small grin behind the faceplate of his helmet. If they managed to pull this off...he couldn’t wait to finish and get back home so he could see the look on his father’s face.

The fireteam settled into cover as the others moved up from behind them, their drab, armored spacesuits almost invisible in the darkness. Caleb rested his rifle on some rubble and waited. He went motionless as he seemed to sense something on the edge of his senses- he turned towards Private Jackson to whisper if he’d heard it as well when everything exploded...

Caleb came to groggily, before jolting upright as he remembered why he was lying on the ground. As his hearing returned, the sounds of frantic combat could be heard. Ahead of him, the entire squad was getting lit up. Lasers and tracer rounds blinked through air that was fouled with dust from the bomb that preceded the ambush, and the roar of weapons fire, shouted orders, and the screams of the wounded and dying could be heard. Jackson was beside Caleb, bleeding from a shrapnel wound to the stomach. He frantically patched the unconscious man up before turning his attention to the battle ahead of him.

“Fireteam Bravo, form up! Light up the ambush!” Caleb screamed orders to his troops as he struggled to form a base of fire with which to rescue his comrades. His rifle beat a steady rhythm on his shoulder as he fired at the enemies, over a dozen people in mismatched spacesuits, with an eclectic mix of firearms. The PDF troopers were whittling down their opponents, but they had taken heavy casualties themselves. Caleb felt helpless as he watched his squadmates die before him, one by one, even as he directed his men’s fire on the most pressing opponents. Suddenly, a loud crack rang out, and before Caleb’s horrified eyes Sergeant Tyar’s head simply vanished as an unseen sniper blew it right off. As if the entire squad’s fates were tied to his, everything went even more wrong in a matter of seconds. A lucky burst of fire shredded two more soldiers, their screams of agony almost drowned out by a renewed volley of fire from the Black Sun forces.

As tears seemed to cloud his eyes, Caleb got up. He didn’t know what he was going to do, but he was going to do something. He charged forward towards the remaining PDF troops, his rifle firing, a wordless scream contained within his helmet, unheard by anyone else. He managed to shoot another two enemies before he felt what seemed like half a dozen punches from the biggest heavyweight on Dashta. Riddled with bullets, he fell, staying conscious just long enough to see his remaining men flanked and killed by the terrorists.

Caleb came to slower this time, a dull pain radiating from his wounds. The air was once again eerily silent. He patched his wounds slowly and painfully, trying not to look at the carnage surrounding him. Soft moans could be heard behind him, and he turned around to move towards them. As he did, the headless corpse of Tyar caught his eye, and Caleb had to struggle not to vomit in his helmet. He staggered his way towards the moaning, finding Jackson clutching his stomach.

“C...Caleb?” the man groaned. Caleb kneeled beside his old friend and nodded. “’s me, Col. We...should leave.”

Jackson looked up at Caleb, his eyes dulled by pain. “What are you talking about? Where is everyone? What happened?”

Caleb was silent a moment. “They’re dead, Col. They’re all...dead,” he choked out, struggling not to shiver. Now wasn’t the time to lose his shit, he told himself.

Jackson simply stared at him uncomprehendingly. “All of them?!”

“Yeah, all of them. We...need to move, Col. Get back. We’re both going to bleed out…”

Jackson nodded, almost in a daze. Caleb levered him up and the two staggered towards the planned extraction point, hardly noticing the distant sounds of combat as the rest of the assault force was systematically obliterated in other portions of the base...

Re: Character Stories

So I finally managed to gather enough creative juices to write up another snippet starring Elena White.
This is probably inside one of the Brain-maintenance VR sessions like the try-outs.

It was dark in the hall, no movement in the air to disturb the dust on the numerous shelves.
They had an exciting game of catch outside already! And now with so little light it was even more fun!
Hide and seek~ Hide and sneak~
Elena sat there in the darkness on top of one of the metal frames. Those people who seemed to know her were nowhere to be seen, but playing catch in a group was boring anyway. The width of her grin mirrored just a bit of the fun she had already!

“When I get my hands on that little brat, I’ll wring her neck! And where the hell is the light switch??”
He was so close! A big, burly bully! Even with a gun! And just a few meters away!

Slowly, carefully, and most important of all, silently, she climbed down to the ground and sneaked closer to her target.
Stumbling around, grumbling grumpily under his breath.

A few steps behind him Elena paused, ready to jump.
She judged the distance, watched the thug move...then she pounced at him.
For a few moments her smile seemed frozen, her eyes dulled. Then lightning cracked from her hands.

The man gave a startled gasp, then started jolting as the current coursed through him.
The lightning cut off just in time before the Tartarus-girl struck his back and clutched at his shoulders, still it was enough to topple him despite Elena's low mass.

His body dropped to the ground with a loud thump, startled voices sounded inwards from those who saw the light from the amp momentarily shining outwards.

Before he could recover enough to act, a single quantum minidrone zipped out from where it was nestled in the backpack. With a dazed target and at point blank range, the drone couldn't miss its volley.

Elena gave him a few playful pats on the back before hopping off as her expression returned to her customary grin, this one was out of the game, for sure!
Apparently, sometimes stuff might happen.
- - - - - - - -

Re: Character Stories

This snippet occurs not long before the Battle of Anba, right after Caleb was promoted to Corporal.

Caleb’s parents shrunk in the distance as the ground car taxi drove deeper into the city. He could still barely make out them waving and the smiles on their faces. “Hey, Caleb, come back out of orbit, you look wasted already!” Coltan lightly shoved Caleb’s shoulder as he jeered his friend, and Caleb grinned back at him.

“You’re saying that now, but we all know I’m going to end up drinking you under the table tonight!” The rest of the squad laughed, Coltan’s poor alcohol tolerance having long since become the butt of many of their jokes.

The man put on an expression of feigned hurt. “Is this how you guys are gonna treat me? In front of a guest, no less?” The woman in question smiled slightly and simply leaned back into her seat to watch the squad’s antics. Being one of Caleb and Coltan’s closest friends, Annalise was hardly a stranger to them- though that wasn’t going to stop Coltan’s exaggerated offense, nor was having seen similar scenes before going to dampen her amusement.

The squad made it to the bar without anyone’s ego getting much more bruised, and hurried to their favorite booth by the wall. Caleb, Annalise, and Coltan sat on one side, the rest of the squad on the other. Once everyone’s drink of choice was in hand, Coltan raised his glass. “To our new Corporal Moore, may we never be made to call him ‘sir!’” Grinning, Caleb clinked his glass against the others’ and drank deeply. “Fukc you, Coltan, I work for a living!”

The rounds passed quickly, and the squad’s jokes became less funny even as they laughed all the harder at them. Caleb felt like his face would split in two from smiling so much, but he didn’t care, being surrounded by his closest friends and comrades. After a while, everyone began to slow down, and even Coltan was growing less rowdy and more sleepy. The six of them paid tabs astronomical enough to give them heart attacks if they had been sober and staggered out of the bar, leaning heavily on one another like a horizontal game of human Jenga. Annalise had a decent-sized apartment nearby for when she was on leave, so the squad stumbled their way there, fortunately not encountering many people to run into on the way. Inside, various squad members claimed guest beds, couches, and floor space to sleep of the copious amounts of alcohol they had drank.

Before they all went their separate ways, though, Caleb fought through his inebriation and had them stay a moment. “Thanksh, guys. I couldn’ done it without you!” Laughing, the squad went for a group hug that almost ended up on the floor. Once everyone went their own ways, Caleb found himself on the couch with Coltan and Annalise, at least until Coltan fell asleep on the other side of it. Annalise swayed some and leaned into Caleb, giving him a slightly awkward drunken hug that he nonetheless returned. “Congrats, Cay. You did good...I know you’ll keep us safe out there.”

The next day, the squad teased the two relentlessly for falling asleep on each others’ shoulders like that, but Caleb felt like it had been the best sleep of his life.

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