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Sera Smiles' Series of Shorts

Discussion in 'FanFic' started by SeraSmiles, May 7, 2018.

  1. SeraSmiles

    SeraSmiles Member

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    Bullets clattered against bulkheads and armor as the pirates retreated, clearly unprepared to face a military force hidden in the small caravansary vessel. Aaliyah took that chance to reach the flashing ‘injury’ symbol her HUD pointed out. It was the Druze that Ozan had hired at the port.
    “Best soldiers in the sphere.” She rolled her eyes at the squirming form of the man before her.
    He called out brokenly at her as she approached him. “Hekim, bura!”
    She slipped a medical kit from her bag as she checked the wound in his hip, the pellets had went straight through the soft tissue. A few had buried themselves in bone.
    “You’re going to be fine, just wait. It was an old shotgun...” She sprayed the area with a numbing antiseptic before pulling out the chunks of lead with a small surgical assist robot. “…you’re lucky these Kazaks couldn’t get their hands on flechette loads, those things would’ve shredded your pelvis.”
    “Fucking cavemen.” The mercenary swore through gritted teeth as the robot pulled fragments out of the open wound. “Why would anyone sell them a ship anyway? Can’t even fight off some weird dogs at home but they have the spare change for a ship. You guys should’ve just left them to us.”
    “You were there during the Colonial wars?” Aaliyah pushed him up to a sitting position to staunch the blood coming from his back. “I heard they were horrific.”
    “It wasn’t so bad in the states, Yu Jing and Pan O mostly tried to hold the capital or the spaceport. They just let us trash a few villages to pull the Nomads off their back. The rangers never even knew what hit them.” The Druze said more clearly, pain fading out of his tone.
    “You were in USAriadna, wasn’t that a war crime?” Aaliyah kept her hand on his shoulder as she set the medifoam in his back. “Don’t move or it won’t heal right.”
    “Thanks, you Haqqis sure know how to fix a man up…” He sighed “…too bad you didn’t know to keep the strays out.”
    “You know…” Aaliyah slipped the chain colt from her belt quickly and quietly.
    “…some of those strays…” She pressed the barrel against the back of his head, lined up with his cube.
    “…grew up to be Sekban.”
     
  2. SeraSmiles

    SeraSmiles Member

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    Watanabe sat heavily on the short table, hearing the wood groan under the weight of her powered armor suit. She lit a cigarette as the face plate of her helmet finished locking into its open position. For nearly two hours she’d been standing guard at the door to the small school she found herself in. The main hall was packed tightly with nearly two hundred Yu Jing loyalists taking shelter in the faint light which the back up generator offered.
    Even now the sounds of Kuge backed rebels fighting the local Banner troops echoed through the streets & into the open window. She took a long drag and let the smoke sit in her lungs.
    “Ma’am, there’s someone here to talk to you.” A keisotsu from the local militia called from the hallway. “They look like a rebel but they’re alone, asked for you by name.”
    Watanabe dropped the cigarette & stamped on it, crushing a tile as she turned. “By name? The rebels know who I am?” Her thoughts jumped back to a man strung by his neck in a courtyard, the word ‘Traitor’ written just beneath his officer’s stripes. He might have been the first, but if the rebels won then more would surely follow.
    “I don’t know, but you’re in charge as far as any of us are concerned. You want to see him?” The militia soldier was trying to sound confident but his tone faltered. Everyone’s nerves were frayed.
    She walked to the door, ducking under the low frame as she went. “I’ll come out and see what they want. Better than waiting for someone who doesn’t feel like talking.”
    Standing in the street before the school was a single man that Watanabe recognized quickly. They’d shared a bunk during basic training some years back.
    “Kojiro, I thought you were stationed at Paradiso.”
    He smiled at her, apparently happy that she remembered him. “My regiment got ‘repurposed’ a few months ago. Something about civil defense and peace keeping operations. You’d be amazed the strings a few well placed bribes can pull.”
    “So you were with the Kuge that early? Are you trying to get us to surrender, to turn on the civilians we’re sheltering?” She could feel the eyes of the Manchu currently on guard warily watching the conversation.
    “I’m trying to give my friend a chance to join us and be made an officer rather than be a dog of the empire and die pointlessly either against her brothers or whatever purge the service puts the army through after this is over."
    Watanabe scoffed, waving her hand in a wide arc over the skyline. Pillars of smoke accentuating the gesture. “Join you in setting fire to my own nation just so that we can starve when Yu Jing stops giving us food subsidies? Is Pan O going to take that hit to their bottom line without wanting anything in return?”
    “Is it any better being rats under the party’s heel? The Kuge are trying to give Japan her freedom. To be ruled from the islands instead of some planet most of us will never see. Why would you fight against your own people?” Kojiro held out a flag of NuNippon for her.
    “My people are inside this school, on Shentang, or across the sphere holding off the Combined Army at Paradiso!” She tore the cloth from his hands, artificial muscles buzzing as they overpowered his grip & tore the cloth bearing the rising sun. “Do you even think they’ll keep you after all this, private Ho ChaoXiang? Or did you ever tell them where your father came from, what your /real/ name is? …Actually, I don’t care. Get out of my face, tell your masters that I said ‘come and get me.’ because I’m not going anywhere.”
    Kojiro left quickly when the guard fired at the ground near him for emphasis. Watanabe took her machinegun back up from next to his post.
    “You think he’ll be back?” The zhanshi asked while watching out over the streets & alleys.
    “Probably. Has anyone answered our call for civilian evac?”
    “Every dropship that’s still in the air seems to have its hands full for the next day at least. Maybe after that they can send someone.” He responded without hope. “But hey, thanks for not selling us all out either way.”
     
    #2 SeraSmiles, May 14, 2018
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  3. stevenart74

    stevenart74 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome stuff, finally someone that write about Nihonjin-Born Loyalists that somehow did not "Magically" succumbed to the Kuge "Brainwashing Spell / Order-66 Brain-Chip". . .!!

    Now if only the High Officer of Yujing that will answer the plea for Evac would be a good, valiant, honourable Zanshi General rather than "Psycho-Crane" this could ACTUALLY end well for the protagonists. . . . .!!!
     
    Golem2God likes this.
  4. SeraSmiles

    SeraSmiles Member

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    Darkness, silence, the distant feeling of being dragged bodily over rough ground. This had been his life for some time. Dampeners placed in his skull left no room for sensation beyond the barest unfeeling knowledge of abuses he couldn’t count. Then, a flash of blinding light and the sound of an entire world breaking upon him like the shockwave of an explosion. Chung Yao saw her.

    Yi BaoZhai stood across him in a room that seemed made of only the whitest materials. The small metal table he was pressed against giving the only color in the nearly monochromatic view. A Hsien rank agent meeting him privately would normally be an honor, the crease of her brow & his treatment the previous week made it very clear that this was not one of those occasions.

    “Please tell me,Crane Agent, do you believe that the Emperor is a fool? Or is the concept of justice simply a game to you?”

    Yao strained to sit with his back straight, atrophy making the simple act exhausting.

    “...I can only admit my ignorance. I have strove to follow his orders-”

    A servo powered fist slammed on the table, a shriek of metal tearing under force like blunt force to his ears. Her eyes glowed with the synthetic golden hue of a replacement body.

    “Then why have you made a mockery of not only the Service but the Empire itself? Do you know what they’re calling you on the Maya net, on the video that you *so graciously* handed them? Psycho Crane. You’re a joke. Like the villain of some Pan O advertising campaign. You turned a minor internal matter into a political fiasco that nearly caused the fall of Acheron.”

    She threw a number of papers on the section of table in front of him, news headlines & data tables showing the results of the Kurage incident & its fallout. Casualties in the millions, mostly civilian, alongside reports of the triads resurgent from Shentang to Taiwan, a general pushback of miles along the Paradiso front, a printed holostill of a Zuyong being torn out of her armor in the ruins of a school building as evacuation helicopters pulled out from the conflict zone while a lone Zhanshi still fired futilely into the swarming rebels from the back of the closest helicopter.

    “So answer me. Why did you ever think that your actions would be acceptable?”

    He stared at the papers, looking from mockery to horror until he couldn't stand it any longer. His voice came out quietly, a rasp under his breath that didn't feel worthy of a servant to the Empire.

    “You weren't there, you didn't see what they were doing. Children, little girls… Those rebels weren’t human. They deserved what happened. The civilians… I think it was a mercy…”

    She leaned down, closer to him. Her voice lost the low growl it had held.

    “I am not slow. Tell me the rest.”

    He closed his eyes, breaking the dam on memories he wasn’t ready to confront. But there was no choice now. He knew that she had already read the report that had surely been made.

    “My husband was in the zone when it happened. I pulled every string I could to be assigned in the city he worked. I hoped against hope that I would find him. His corpse was hanging from a street lamp.”

    She looked through him, into some middle distance that only existed for her. Some small measure of humanity crossed her face for a moment, too small for anyone but another agent to see.

    “My son would be twenty four. Three days ago. Murdered in his sleep by a traitor when the signal went out. I couldn’t even mourn my own son on his birthday. I was stuck in a prisoner exchange negotiation. I flayed two rebels alive yesterday, tore out their cubes & beat them to death with my bare hands. We can deny that…”

    Her eyes suddenly locked with his, inescapably boring into him.

    “You know what I didn’t do? Make a fucking spectacle of the whole thing.”

    She brought up a display of his file. The holographic image flipped by quickly & she continued talking before he could even catch what she had been showing him.

    “You know, most of the service was calling for your head after what happened. A few of your lackeys have already had their names taken. One of them was just shot this morning. Now, in light of your years of service I have spoken to a few other senior agents as well as the interdynastic regent on your behalf. You won’t be dragged before the cameras. You won't be shot. But you will serve the rest of your life in a role that is more suited to you…”

    A catalog code was written on the display now.

    |3423953-J7|

    Codes for a Kuang Shi. She was already walking out of sight & he was struck by the realization that he could no longer turn his head.

    “In light of *our* conversation, however, I will grant you one final mercy.”

    Chung Yao’s world went black as the deafening silence creeped back into his mind.
     
    #4 SeraSmiles, Dec 25, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
    oldGregg and Deltervees like this.