C
by
ScriptedSoldier
https://media.vingle.net/images/co_m/gplfpo5myc.jpg
C
4 Followers
Exiled
1. Anne, Before I go right into what I’m about to say, I want to start by reminding you that I don’t just jump from decision to decision, I think things through. Anyway, I’m just going to come out and say it, I’m not so sure the UFH is for me. I know, I know, you’re really disappointed. This is what I’ve been talking about since we were kids, joining the UFH, serving in the corps of the elite, making a difference for all of us on the Heracles, all of that other crap I used to say. I don’t mean for it to sound like that, well I mean technically it doesn’t sound like anything because I’m writing this and I’m rambling on and on even on paper I have this problem so I’m just going to put a period and end this sentence so I can move on to my explanation. They’re not what I thought they were Anne, they don’t follow any of those damned values posted all over the sector walls, and they’re just stupid. They are inefficient, how they do things, how we do things, it’s just not the right way to go about it. I don’t want to start another rambling fit, so I’m just going to sum it up with this: This is NOT the way to live the lives we talked about. I can’t keep doing this Anne, I can’t keep wasting my time here. I need to do something else. Maybe the Harbingers have a point with their beliefs. Maybe— I put my pen down as someone comes into my room, the lack of a knock means one of two things: This is urgent, or it’s about to be. The words that come next are enough to keep me in a good temper. “Fair, sector 11, point 4B, stat.” With that he was out of the door and I was grabbing my helmet following out seconds after. I stepped off the pad onto the trans hall and was on my way to sector 11. On the way I couldn’t help but let my mind wander. What could they be sending me to? Lately it’s been nothing but false alerts or domestic disputes. I look out the glass as the hall continues to propel me where I need to be, at the miraculous city that is Heracles. Riddled with crime, drugs, murder, how did it even come to this? We were all promised a fresh start, refuge, peace. Then soon the first assault occurred, then the first murder, it wasn’t long before the UFH was founded thereafter. They stood for something, something everyone believed in, something I believed in. I was willing to bet my future on this. Maybe they did mean all they said back then, maybe in some twisted way they still do, but the ends do not justify the means damn it. They just don’t. I refuse to believe that turning a blind eye to the helpless is the necessary choice to the future safety of the world around us. I don’t buy it. They say everything has to be followed by the book, ‘Only cases brought via the coordinator are to be followed up on.’ What about the mugging happening down the street? The murder in the supposed safety of a person’s home? If the coordinator doesn’t add that to the case files in time, what then? What about first response? Why doesn’t that exist? Too many questions, and the only answer I get is ‘This is the way it has to be.’ Wrong. Just wrong. Just… “Wrong.” I utter the unfinished thought aloud to the perplexity of the woman to my left as I see what I can only assume I’ve been called out for. Five of my fellow guardians pinned at the entrance of an alleyway, kept out by one girl. She looked about 20, and she looked like she wasn’t a resident of this sector, but mostly she just looked scared. I wasn’t entirely sure how she was keeping all those armed soldiers out of the alleyway until I saw her lob a bomb over in their direction. The radius alone was close enough to catch them if they weren’t kept safe behind the entrance walls, they then poked their heads out from behind the wall and lay down some cover fire. I guess they want to keep her in the trap she set. I wasn’t sure how many of those bombs she had, but I knew that I had to hurry. I stop the hall as I drop down to point 4B and stand across the street from the others. It would be just stupid to go line up with the rest of them and hope that we outlast her bombardment long enough to avoid a getaway. Or I could be a little more unconventional. I call the trans hall up again, as the floor rises to bring me into it I grip the opening and hang off of the gap. The pain shot up from my fingertips as the floor meets the gap, or at least tries to, with my hands in between. It’s worth it though as the hall continues down, over buildings, buildings I can use to get to the alley. Article 78-D states that there will be no standing on the top of buildings at any time, doing so would be considered a threat to the foundation of the Heracles, but you have to crack a few eggs sometimes if you want to get that breakfast. I’m not great at analogies. I pull my hands free from the hall and drop below onto the rooftop overlooking the opposite edge of the alleyway. At this point it’d be easy to just swoop down and take her down. That was the plan, that was the plan. I quietly made my way down the ladder and saw this girl chucking another bomb over in my cohorts’ direction. She didn’t even notice me sneaking up on her, not at first. I think it was my shadow that gave me away, I’m not entirely sure, all I do know is that she turned to swing at me with some make-shift knife. She was surprisingly capable, she couldn’t catch me with it, but I couldn’t get the knife away from her. It was around this time that the smoke from her last bomb was just about entirely gone, and I saw my allies’ guns up and ready to fire. Not one, many. Not at the ready, aimed. Not aimed low, but high. They were planning to kill this girl, not put her in the courtroom, but execute her right here and now. No, this wasn’t our way; she didn’t kill anyone and I refused to let UFH sink so far as to begin publicly executing people based on what they might do. Not today. I hit the ground behind the small barricade she had made and pull her down with me. She screams out quick and stops just as quickly, I was going to say something but she gets the point as the bullet-fire sounds off. I don’t have time to worry about the awkward set up, I lay over her and cocoon her. “What are you—“ “Trust me.” That’s all I say as I as I push her body up against me. With my feet and one hand keeping us propped up off the ground, I put all my strength in that arm and roll us across to the corner and behind the wall. We would probably have a minute before they moved in closer. A minute to be down the alley and on the Trans Hall. I stand up and see her gritting her teeth, I was going to ask what was wrong but I see the blood off her hand as she clutches her arm. “Can you make it?” I ask as I pull her to her feet. “I have to.” She says back as I get caught looking at her face for the first time since I’ve seen her. She seemed a little younger than I first anticipated, yet her eyes burned with an intent beyond her years. I wasn’t even sure to do with such fire. We ran until I felt like I couldn’t keep going, the Trans Hall would have been way too conspicuous. All the way to Sector 5, but even so… “We need to get off the streets,” I look back at her and see her pained eyes. “Tend to that arm.” She nods to this. “I think I know a place.” She says as she leads me through some alleys. We eventually come to a door and travel through it, almost like a hallway comprised of houses, and I find myself walking indoors for a bit. From door through door, it all just looks like small entrances to a full home that may never come. I haven’t even begun to explore the thought about the action I just committed. If any of them saw me, were able to identify me, anything like that, I’d be done. I don’t even know what they would do, but I don’t regret it. I draw the line at executing people, I would rather be in a connex. THUD. The sound echoes in the small hallway as the girl behind me collapses. There goes my map. I hoist her on my back and start to run, wherever we’re going we need to get there soon. About ten minutes down the halls we arrive at a small room with a bed and another door, a change of pace to say the least. I probably would have just kept us going but there was a first aid kit on a small desk beside the bed and she needed some attention. She came to about halfway through the process and was scared for a moment, I had to calm her down. “It’s okay, we’re almost done here.” “Do you realize what you’re doing?” “Relax…” “Alana.” “Relax Alana, this isn’t the first wound I’ve taken care of.” “That’s good, but I wasn’t talking about the wound. I mean saving me. You have to go all the way now.” “What do you mean?” “I mean your new life starts now. Everything you knew, it’s over, you saved me and I appreciate it more than I can ever explain. But you’re a part of this now and if they find you they’ll kill you. So you might as well come with me.” I finished with the bandages and sat back in the desk chair waiting for more. “Explain.” “Are you sure you’re ready?” Alana said as she sat up in the bed. “For what?” “The walls will all come down, you’re about to learn the truth.” The truth, which was ironic considering was life had been like lately. I wasn’t sure what to do with what she was saying, but I figured I needed to know all of the story before I made a judgment. I laid my helmet on the desk and sat forward in the chair. “You have three minutes. Go.”
Walker
4. Water was a commodity in this day and age, and something not everyone could simply have at their disposal at any given time. Six felt blessed whenever he felt the cooling touch wash over his body as he embraced the invigoration that came with it. Oftentimes water reminded him of his home, where they had the most quaint river running right along it, the river was their pride and joy. Every morning, Six's mother would take him out to the river side where he would help her wash the laundry, it was a chore beloved for little Six. For the laundry was an excuse to splash around in the river, fits of laughter often ensued between he and his mother as the laundry was tended to slowly, but enjoyably. This water held no such regards, it was sharp in temperature, and harsh in it's sting on his face. Worst of all however was what it signified, those memories of home were just that, memories long faded like the water would be from Six's face momentarily. He looked up in a daze at the overseer standing over him, pacing back and forth at the tied up Six. "What happened to Worker 264?" "What?" Six let out a grunt as his neck was shocked with a small volt of lightning, as if to explain what would happen if he didn't cooperate. Six looked back at the overseer behind him who had dealt the punishment with animosity. Prison was getting old. "What happened to worker 264?" The overseer in front asked again. "I don't know." Again Six was shocked by the man behind him, eager to cause pain. "What happened to worker 264?" "Well obviously he died, but it wasn't me. I just found the body before you." Unsatisfied by his answer, overseer 11-C was content to shock Six once more. "You're just looking for someone to blame, because your higher up's won't like this, and you want me to confess." Again Six was shocked, as if to silence him, but he was getting accustomed to the sharp sting. "But I won't!" "Enough!" The overseers turned, saw Captain Mayhue and immediately snapped to attention. "Captain Mayhue, ma'am, we--" "This boy clearly didn't do it, where would he have acquired the high-powered rifle that so clearly burrowed a round into the victim's head? And even if he did, where would he have been able to hide it, and then have time to retrieve it during the Dawn Run. Your incompetence is limitless." Captain Mayhue walked towards the exit in a huff before turning back toward the door. "Release him at once." "Yes ma'am!" The overseers both blurted out as they hurried to free Six from his interrogation shackles, and set him back up with his day-to-day shackles. As they walked Six out of the room, Captain Mayhue still stood, eyes cold and calculated. "You may go, I'll escort him back myself." "But Captain--" One look from Captain Mayhue and the overseers halted their protest, immediately moving out. Captain Mayhue began walking, when she saw that Six wasn't following, she beckoned with her finger as she did the other night and Six pursued her. "Are you alright?" Her focus stayed straight ahead as she spoke, leaving Six to wonder if she was even speaking to him at first. "Uh, yes. Ana I--" Captain Mayhue struck Six with the end of her pistol lightly. "What was that for?" Six asked, rubbing his head tenderly. "When we are in front of the audience I will be playing the role of Captain Mayhue, and you will address me as such." She was firm in her words, much more like how Six anticipated an Officer to be like the first time he saw her. "Yes ma'am." She struck him again. "CAPTAIN MAYHUE." "Yes Captain Mayhue." He said firmly, still flinching as if expecting to be struck again. "Your role will be complete soon as well Six. Then you will be ready to take your new life." She stopped walking and stared Six down intensely, he tried to avert his gaze, but knew she wouldn't have it. "...Are you ready Six?" There was a moment when Six has asked himself this, it was after his shower. He had barely lived what could be considered a life at this point, sometimes contemplating means of suicide despite the precautions. Then opportunity presented itself, a chance at a fresh start, a chance to reinvent himself, a chance for vengeance. He hadn't often thought about it, but Six definitely had not be pleased with his captors, and would take vengeance if he could. It mattered not to him what Ana thought, she was only a means to this after all. He would do whatever she asked, as long as he could be free to pursue his own interests. The destruction of the country of reshinof. He looked at her with all the fire in his eyes a life of torture could muster. "Yes."
Walker
3. The workers took off at a breakneck pace, caution abandoned at the starting position. Six could hear the cries of other workers being trampled, their mistake was being at the front, it's always safest to start from the back. Once everyone was running Six tried to get a good pace for the plan, in order to fulfill Ana's requirements he would have to win the Dawn Run, easier said than done. At first the run held no challenge, it was a simple foot race, aside from the occasional pain of stepping on a rock. Six hadn't looked down at his feet in a long time, he felt that the sight would only sadden him, they must be so scarred. About five minutes into the run the overseers began chucking random concussive grenades in the road, causing a ringing in Six's ears every three seconds or so, but this didn't matter. Six was actually relatively fast, and the Dawn Run held little challenge to him. He quickly hopped over the body of someone who toppled down before him as they ran, lack of energy was the biggest killer. Next was the thin line, a passageway just big enough for one person, lined to the teeth with barbed wire. Six saw the path was clear as he came upon it, normally he would stop and tip toe through the danger, but today he had to win. He did his best to shield his face as he charged down the middle, actually missing the wire at first for the most part, but as he exited the thin line he felt the heat dripping down his left forearm and knew he wasn't unscathed. This was usually where Six would sacrifice victory for safety, but Ana would not be denied. It was some sort of abandoned complex left intact long before the reshinof had built around it. Six perceived it was some sort of transportation hub, more importantly it was a death trap now. Each and every entrance in the hub was booby trapped now, all but one, and the only way to figure it out would be to play the waiting game. Six climbed up to a light fixture of some kind hanging above the complex. Almost a half hour passed as he hung above, watching workers get knocked out by the traps around the complex. The Overseers found some sort of sick pleasure in these games they played, watching the pain of the workers, who couldn't even be blessed with the comfort of death. No, they would almost all surely survive, they couldn't afford a decline in productivity. Once Six saw a worker run through an exit safely, he dropped down below and followed. Six was feeling pretty good, although his forearm stung immensely. After the complex it was just a straight shot through the woods, for which Six counted his blessings. As he ran he saw the end line in the distance and the worker that made it to through the Complex first. There was no way Six could catch up to him in time. He cursed the hand he was dealt as the runner reached ever so closer to the end line. Just before he hit the line however, his body propelled to the side and off the main road. Six looked at the man as he ran beside and saw a hole in his temple, the man was killed as he neared the end. Six slowed himself down as he pondered the meaning to this. He didn't recall Ana mentioning anything like this in the plan, so he didn't think it was her doing. Still, the man was killed before reaching the end, the Overseers were not interested in killing their cash cows. Before Six could come to a conclusion, another shot rang out near his feet and he started sprinting towards the end. Shot after shot neared him as he ran himself ragged towards the line, passing it before another shot could sweep the area. "I...I did it." Six breathed heavily in and out as the Overseers neared him. "Congratulations dreck! You've earned yourself a red point." The Overseer touches Six's wrist shackle and a segment making up its circumference lights up red. "Keep that up and you might find yourself in the Grave Games." The Overseer sneered at Six. "Yes sir." Six said. The Overseer began to walk to his fellow Overseers and saw the worker on the ground in the distance. "Hey you, get up!" He yelled at the corpse. Six knew this was bad news, but to run now would seal his fate. "Hey, I'm talking to you!" The Overseer yelled as he ran over to the body to make the discoverey. "We got a dead one on our hands!" Six was brought to the ground before the Overseer could even finish his sentence, face first into the dirt. An Overseer touched his shackles together behind Six's back and they linked, making it clear they were taking him in. It seemed as though he wouldn't have to worry about Ana's plan much longer.
Walker
2. Dawn run was never an exciting task to wake up to, especially when you hadn't slept much the night before, although feeling clean always helped. Once upon a time Six might have worried about whether the overseers might notice that he was clean, versus the rest that weren't, but such a detail would entail that they paid any attention to him beyond what they saw him as. A tool to be used, maintained, and discarded when the time came. Six was a refugee from the continent of Danzia, which had waged war with the great land of reshinof for all of five months. The time spent was only because Danzia was such a vast land to cover, much like throwing rocks at a building, Six's people never stood a chance. Luckily for Six the benign people of reshinof believed in second chances. If he served in the workforce under the supervision of the army for half of his life, he could earn citizenship and be blessed enough to call reshinof his home. Six held no ties to Danzia, he didn't really care where he lived, but the idea of manual labor for half of his life span at the chance of being able to attempt to live some semblance of a true life when he reached fifty did not sit well with Six. He thought back to his conversation with Ana last night, and all that it meant to him. She offered him so much, more than he had ever anticipated life held in store for him. "I could be free?" Ana nodded as she rinsed the soap off of her body. "Yes dear boy, you could be free. All you would need to do is follow my instructions. We are going to make you a member of the Red Guard." Six's eyes widened at this. In his position, freedom was a longshot, becoming a Red Guard was an impossibility. "How?" "You are going to compete in the Grave Games this month. When you win, I will contest you a champion worthy of guarding an official, and make you my Red Guard. I am your ticket to freedom Six. Is that alright?" She held his chin between her thumb and index, forcing him to look her in the eyes. "Yes ma'am." Six said sheepishly. Six had no issue agreeing then, his full-bodied boss staring him down with a grin, but the idea now seemed daft. The Grave Games were called as such with reason. No one survived often. They were held in a stadium of sorts, and were considered a way to blow off steam and boost morale for the Soldiers. They were glorified dog fights. People died there, people like Six. The week the overseers plan for the workers is set up in a specific way for specific reasons. Every day there's an event in place to keep them moving, keep them tired. Tired workers can't rebel. So come time for the Grave Games, Six will already be fairly tired. But one has to do what is necessary, especially for freedom. So he would play his part, do what the overseers say, and today he would do the Dawn Run. "Fall in line maggots! Time for the Dawn Run!" The Overseer says as he walks the line of workers. "You know the drill, we blow the whistle, you move your legs. First to the end of the Dawn Run gains a Red point." Six prepared for the start, this would not be fun. Six would have to win, which he's never done before. "Ready, set, go!"