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MAR/APR Who is your father?


Msgrv32
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OOC: Was going to take this round off because my stories weren't doing it for me... but I shall enter this one for fun!

Background Information and goals: Classified

Personal Character Development: Classified

Editors Name: Classified

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We the people... in compliance with the terms of the treaty... to hereby and forever cede all land, right and property... of the people, by the people, and for the people...

((Planet Caranthian-VII / Outer Province Landing Zone))

They scanned the ID card getting on the shuttle. They scanned the ID card getting off the shuttle. Checkpoint 1, clearance accepted. Proceed to checkpoint 2. Checkpoint 2, clearance accepted. Proceed to Checkpoint... so many checkpoints... this is life.

Braden Melborne was the name on the ID card. The cards picture was of a 26 year old field agent with long shaggy brown hair and dark blue eyes. The man who stood before the guard at Checkpoint 3 had a short buzz cut. The pictures showed a face untouched by war. The field agent standing at Checkpoint 3 had a cheek cut up and a face full of scars. Only the eyes remained the same... one link with the past.

“How many times are we going to do this mate?” Braden asked the guard.

“That’s the price of security friend.” was the reply.

“Any more Checkpoints?” he asked curiously.

“You are now leaving Landing Zone Bravo. From this point forward you are entering ceded territory. Main Operations will take place in 12 hours. Keep your beacon on at all times or you will be indistinguishable from the local inhabitants to Suborbital Command.”

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((Braden Melborne / Personal Log))

I’m in the wild again. It’s been an hour since I left the LZ. The scene has shifted. The LZ is a giant scorch mark on the surface and nothing more but here... it’s alive here. Dotting the landscape are ferns and flowers, and giant trees that seem to sway against the wind. It’s luscious and dark green in one section but walk 10 minutes, and the land is flat for miles.

After some trekking I came upon a lush valley. The round-top hill overlooking the valley is best described as a picturesque meadow. Various species of rodents frolicked about in the wavy green grass, but all of them are alien to my eyes. Looking down into the valley I could see a small cottage, complete with white pickets lining the nearby garden. It took only a minute to reach and I approached the cottage quietly.

The door was unlocked and it was fairly obvious from the first glance that the owners had fled. Many of the walls bore the markings where picture frames had been hung until just recently. Many of those frames lay smashed and empty on the floor. I’ve seen this sad sight a thousand times, people always wait until the last minute to pack.

Upon further checking in the cottage I discovered a small child. She had been abandoned by her parents. She was quiet, I listened in close and could hear her breathing. I’m not exactly sure why I picked her up. When I held her I only intended it to last a moment. After the moment was up I set her back down in the crib. She didn’t cry, she just cooed lightly. I was going to leave her but... my hands were shaking. I had these tears... welling up inside of me. I could feel them pooling behind the lids of my eyes. I looked down at that small child, she didn’t seem so alien to me.

… so I picked her up. I held her in my arms. I spent a good 10 minutes and fashioned my field agent issued backpack into a baby carrier. She would ride with me. I would give her a chance at a future. I would take her with me. Those were my decisions and mine alone. I accept full responsibility for the consequences of my actions.

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((Planet Carinthian VII / Borderlands of Refugee Province))

It must have been 3-4 kilometers hike to the city. It wasn’t so much a city as a group of farming communities. In the center of the massive area of farms sat a market sqaure housing various multi level buildings. He walked out in the open with no cover as he entered the square. It had been silent out but Braden was sure he was not alone.

3 shots rang out. They headed in a straight line towards his head. He paid them no attention and continued his walk. When the shots reached his destination they impacted with his PSU (personal shield unit) and fell harmlessly to the ground. As he approached the main building sitting behind a modest fountain no longer operating he heard a voice call out.

“No further!” the male voice rang out from behind the screen door of the building.

Braden stopped immediately and his eyes turned red. A certain type of fire burned inside them. The humans standing before him were so very similar. Yet he knew the difference lay not on the outward appearance but on the inside. He opened his mouth and proceeded to scare everyone in the building.

“In my hands I hold your future. I hold your past. I hold your present in my grip. I clench and you all are extinguished. If my hand goes lax, you are all extinguished. If I die standing before you, through no fault of your own, YOU ARE ALL EXTINGUISHED. Get out here now.”

“Sorcerer! Your isolation befits only a merciless and malevolent evil! But we are the believers of the cross. We will be saved. You will burn.”

He reached his hand into the air. In it was a small comm system. His finger rested on the button but he didn’t yet press it.

“Far above us, oh believers of the cross, sails my behemoth, it’s stomach feeding on chaos and struggle. My behemoth and I rode through your ‘worshiped empire’ long ago and we have returned for the full penance of what you owe. Your land, your planet, is no longer yours. It is mine. In my hands I hold your fate, from above when you see the light, it will not be of salvation, but of your end. This is not your land anymore. You will exit the building now! Single file so you can be tagged and processed!”

There was a silence and then they exited, in a single file line, just as he had ordered. It was a desperate march to his position. Only the non operational fountain said between them. When they reached the fountain they all sat. He was taken aback by this and sensed a trap. He set down the bag and reached into his belt. Pulling out a small utility padd he opened a specific program and sent his orders, complete with a timed delay to the behemoth. The believers began to chant.

“From above and below, from beginning to end, we worship the ground and we are delivered from evil.” again and again it was repeated until the fountain was restored to life. Braden felt the ground shake under his feet a moment, but it quickly subsided.

The chanting stopped. The lead male looked up from where he was sitting, his eyes welling up in failure. Braden walked towards them with the tags. He knelt down before him and pressed the ID Tag against his forehead, where it stuck. The man pleaded with him.

“Who are you?” he said in shock.

Braden tagged the woman beside him and laughed. Continuing the tagging process he answered glibly.

“I’m a great collector of people.”

He tagged an elderly couple sitting directly behind and continued.

“Ever since I was a little... you all have fascinated me. I was very eager to meet you all. My father... he told me we would come here. To meet you all. We would learn and share so much of our journeys and experiences and then one day...”

His glib and mocking tone changed suddenly to a more pained and hate filled ramble.

“...he never truly came home. He returned to us from his time here, but after that he would only speak of such nonsense. It never ended, we could never rid him of his belief. He became one of you. Something had to be done. So I dealt with him, and now I’m here dealing with you. I hate you. I hate you all for what he became. He was a great man, of infinite thought and expression. He is now weak, delegatory, indecisive. I took his place, I came to do what he had originally intended!”

He was rough with the tagging process. The next tag was nearly punched into the forehead of a woman in her 40’s. She had tears in her eyes and looked to the ground. He looked down with no remorse or sympathy and mocked her.

“What? Where is your belief now? Is it rolling down your face?”

She looked up at him with the same hatred and spat her words back at him.

“Your name is Braden.”

He was again taken aback. He stared her down but she looked past him maintaining her glare.

“How do you know that?”

She was stone silent for a moment and then looked him straight in the eyes and said.

“I knew your father. We loved each other.”

Braden's face was visibly shaking with rage and grief. He turned left for a moment and then looked back down to her with fire in his eyes.

“How could my father have loved something like you?”

She smiled and continued.

“Your father was a gentle man. He came here to learn and study us. He offered himself to us so that we too could learn about you. Some nights all he could speak of was you. How he longed to show you the true beauty of this place. He longed to open your eyes but he was afraid. He was so desperately afraid...”

The veins in his neck and forehead were a dark pulsating blue and his response was venomous.

“My father feared nothi...”

He was cut off by the woman again as she yelled the truth at him.

“He was desperately afraid that he had taught you the wrong lessons. He was afraid you would become a man of great evil! He was desperate to find some way to change your perceptions. In the end he failed.”

For a moment there was deathly silence. The gaze those two shared threatened to destroy them all with one spark.

Then she spoke.

“You are not immune to this place. Your father was not immune either. He found himself here, just as you have. You may not know it yet but one day I know you will return. With a tragic and bitter regret about your actions here today you will walk these fields. It will be bittersweet, you will never find peace. Love will restore your guilt. You are just as your father prophesied.”

Braden couldn’t take it anymore. The grief at what had happened to his father was overwhelming. He staggered backwards and fell onto the ground. Staring up at the guy he let out a piercing scream. It lasted a minute and the choking sound of his tears echoed in the distance. He could remember his father so well, now he was doomed to repeat his fathers mistakes. He looked at his watch. It was finally time. His mission was over, it ended in failure but at least he wouldn’t fulfill their prophesy. He got up and straightened himself. He wiped the tears from his face and walked towards them.

“I came prepared for your prophesies. I will never leave this place. You are correct, I am not immune, neither was my father. My behemoth that sails above us, far beyond the clouds... is immune and will continue on after I fulfill my own prophesies.”

Then he pressed the button. His beacon now turned off he threw it away.

“You know its funny, had you said nothing... I would never have even known.”

She looked up at him one last time and asked.

“Known what?”

Braden looked up into the sky as it turned purple and smiled, closing his eyes.

“Quarantine protocols are insufficient. Extreme measures are needed to contain your threat...”

Then he opened his eyes and spoke his last words to the woman his father had supposedly loved once.

"... our threat."

Edited by Msgrv32
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