The Horsemen, Sentinel, and Raven

Jun 21st, 2019 (edited)
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  1. Hi, I'm Smiley and this is the first second-hand story I'm ever writing (no I don't count things less than two pages)
  2. [Bird][Sci-Fi][Hella Cuddling][lewd][Do we have a tag for bird-tonguejobs yet?]
  3. ======================================================================================================================
  5. >Another day, another dollar. You groan awake on the ship, groggily rising and following through on your morning routine
  6. >Rise, piss, dress, groom, comb.
  7. >The subtle droning of the engines in the back is the only sound you hear apart from the metallic thuds of your tennis shoes on the corridor floor.
  8. >You make your way to the cafeteria, the same breakfast bar as always.
  9. >Eggs of three varieties yet all taste the same, red strips called bacon, "fresh" fruit, some fried alien insectoids, pancakes, finally you come to the only two things you eat in the morning.
  10. >Nutrisoup and Coffee. Ship grown algae mix and four-month-old coffee. Yay.
  11. >The taste of boiled spinach and salt fills your mouth each spoonful, the intense bitterness of coffee washing it away each sip.
  12. >You think back to your life on earth. Of your twisted view of the future, and that space travel was far out on the horizon.
  13. >You think of where you were that day, the day he showed up. You were working away at your first real job. The stammering sounds of the office silenced as everyone rushed to the break room T.V watching the leaders of the world stand in shock. There he was, the man who you now work for, Mr. Human as he calls himself. One day we thought we were alone, the next, you got a letter saying you had a better job available.
  14. >You don't regret leaving Earth, not for a second, but you do miss people, real human people, not aliens. Old friends and family are now literally on the other side of the galaxy.
  15. >The scrape of metal on plastic snaps you from your trance, and with it it signals that breakfast is over.
  16. >You put the mug, bowl, and spoon in the cleaning device, then leave as the doors hiss shut behind you.
  17. >Now comes the next part, morning fitness.
  18. >As you have nothing to do for the next week you decide firstly to warm up with cardio.
  19. >The light thumping of feet on equipment snaps you out of any trance, all you can think about is the last time you made planet fall.
  20. >Your brow furrows as you remember sitting at a restaurant eating a meal in your lonesome when two men in armor come to escort you to the ship.
  21. >The whiz of plasma bolts and roars of chain-gun fire seem to still be fresh in your mind.
  22. >You notice that you're running faster as you remember each enraged scale-covered face.
  23. >You feel yourself turning red as you recall one of the men handing you a pistol, and how you emptied it into the coming horde.
  24. >Time passes while you angrily run.
  25. >An hour has passed as you wrap up sorting memories and cardio, your face is speckled with sweat while your shirt is soaked through in some parts
  26. >Next is the punching bag.
  27. >The unique sensation of your fist being forming a mini crater in the bag as it smooths out with every blow.
  28. >"Wir gehen weiter als alle. Wir kommen für die Menschheit. Wir träumen von die beste Welt."
  29. >The three-sentence phase engraved in your mind; the German phrase coined by Mr. Human to describe why he wants people.
  30. >"We go farther than all. We come for Mankind. We dream of the best world." you translate to English.
  31. >You repeat the saying as you work out, each time ever so slightly intensely.
  32. >You end the workout smiling.
  33. >You take shower while staring out into the abyss of fantastic blues and violets.
  34. >You've been near this place before, after returning from the incident.
  35. >The silver glints of a thousand vessels make their way towards the only thing worthwhile in this system.
  36. >The wormhole in this system is unlike anything else in the galaxy.
  37. >You've been down the tears in reality before, the vast expanse of all in between seemingly pressed on the surface of the singularity.
  38. >This wormhole is a most fantastic sapphire blue, maybe from the fact that it's artificially created leads its color.
  39. >You had an odd feeling around the thing though, it seems, or lest it brings out loneliness.
  40. >The deep sapphire blue radiates the feeling like radiation from a quasar.
  41. >You've stopped showering for some time enchanted by the stars but unfortunately under its spells.
  42. >The eerie silence of forever is almost intoxicating as every pump of your heart booms like thunder while your conscious screams all of its damning convictions.
  43. >The silence is shattered in but a single moment, the hiss of a hydraulic seal fills the air.
  44. >Turning to face the door you see an obvious non-human.
  45. >It stares at you, the scarred gouges where its eyes used to be glowing the neon blue of robotic eyes.
  46. >While unsure of its species you know it’s a sentinel, a retired front-line veteran with his sight stolen then returned.
  47. >"Pardon" is all the thing says before the door hisses shut again.
  48. >You decide that it is time to leave after another minute or so, dressing in yourself in one of your many button-down shirts and a pair of jeans.
  49. >After dressing you see the non-human again, he's a Jici, a race similar to the Korvan, a smaller variety of genus Korvus, with a broader build, shorter tails, and bark-brown scales rather than the tans and greens of the proper Korvans.
  50. >You spend the day trying to learn new skills, notably how to use plasma-bolt weapons, as you tried not to burn off your hand by putting it on the wrong coil.
  51. >The hiss of air burning around the projectile scares you a little each shot.
  52. >It whistles as it travels, followed by the target blooming into a bouquet of molten mixture.
  53. >The bubbling ooze of whatever is then stored in a heat-sealing container to be used in any manner of purpose, mainly for heating ice crystals to use around the ship.
  54. >You go back to your quarters, turning on your TV equivalent.
  55. >The screen shows the armed forces of Omega Corporation. The metal clad soldiers sending volley after volley of plasma bolts at some unseen target.
  56. >Tanks tear small trenches through the ruined city's roads, the distinctive roar of a chain gun fire shakes the camera recording it.
  57. >You finally see the reporter, a Raven female, her eyes fearful and speech a little stressed.
  58. >"Goodeven-"the whiz of an energy blast stops her mid-sentence and she and the cameraman rush into some sort of a field bunker.
  59. >"Sorry about that everyone. I'm reporting live from the planet of Draak. The Omega Corporation has sent ten million soldiers to secure its investments planet side, they're fighting some sort of sleeper androids" Ms. Yeomem is interrupted by a large, armored, man wearing a a face concealing mask, "Ma'am you and your crew have to leave the fighting has escalated, nearby systems are to send a total force of a hundred million to arrive within the month. It is not optional; you must leave NOW" The cameraman follows them out of the bunker.
  60. >You gasp as you see the city, the drainage ditches are trenches, half the buildings are collapsed and the other half are bombed-out, beyond a wave of smoke tall, multi-legged silhouettes are surrounded by a dull metallic swarm.
  61. >blue light flashes from the swarm-infested dust cloud, each met by one from the trench.
  62. >As the camera man boards a vessel an arch of super-heated metal is flung by the trench-line, missing by ten feet or so, instantly followed up by earth shaking pound of a cannon.
  63. >The feed then cuts to a pair of two shocked anchors.
  64. >"BREAKING NEWS" shouts the man, before the female cuts in, "Congrats to all you humans! There is now world peace and ZERO PERCENT unemployment, as Mr. Human has taken power of your home world." the man speaks again "Every human that can work either has a job or has been conscripted into the newly formed Galactic Marines, and will be serving in the Draak system against the ancient androids on the planet."
  65. >Your eyes are wide as dinner plates when the next words leave the news anchor's mouth
  66. >"A word to people living on New-Life terraformed planet or who work for Omega Corp or one of its subsidiaries, you may receive a letter in the coming days which will bring you into the Galactic Marines."
  67. >Apparently Mr. Human had built a thousand system empire in a single day, using all the right moves.
  68. >Fuck.
  69. >
  70. >The next two days are the tensest it’s ever been, the shooting range is packed with people just trying to learn to shoot.
  71. >You land in silence, a platoon of "Galactic Marines" board and distribute letters to almost everyone aboard, the Jici sentinel is one of the few who stay aboard.
  72. >After you are escorted off the ship you are loaded up onto military trucks and driven to an office of sorts.
  73. >You enter, armed guards on every street corner the locals are being herded into similar buildings.
  74. >You wait in line for an hour, then are handed a sheet.
  75. >"Fills it ooout Uman" says the middle-aged Falcon on the other side of the desk, the thick accent forefront in every word she said.
  76. >The sheet is a questionnaire of sorts, asking you what you would do in certain situations, it takes you about five minutes for the fifty questions.
  77. >You hand it back to the desk this time greeted by a rat lady, she flips through it, looks up at you and says "Go down that hall, out the back door and onto the ship with a big thirty on it." She hands you a card with your name and a pin number as well as a pair of dog tags.
  78. >You walk down the hall, exiting into the morning sun, lines are formed around several of the destroyers, notably 10.
  79. >One of the soldiers asks you what ship you're going to. After you answer all he says, "I'm so, so very sorry for your family." No humor, no jesting in his voice.
  80. >The man stationed at the entrance to the ship himself stands noticeably shorter than you, a felid.
  81. >His eyes look like they belong on a corpse, but they light up a little after seeing you.
  82. >"Welcome to the hard-line soldier, good to see more humans. Your race can take a war of attrition better than all others."
  83. >You frown, confused. The felid notices.
  84. >"Son, you have been assigned to the 30 Series, our job is to make our enemies' lives hell. How? Trench warfare and sieges, we're called the hard-line for a reason."
  85. >FuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuck
  86. >From this moment onward, you knew things weren't going to be calm, safe, or sane.
  87. >
  88. >
  89. >
  90. >A year and a half pass and you were right.
  91. >Scarily right.
  92. >The androids were simply the test, the war got bad after their creators, the Jeewol, showed up.
  93. >They wanted their old homeland back, something taken from them eons ago.
  94. >The insectoids arrived in the trillions, and the fronts consumed systems.
  95. >Now, you're sitting in a trench filled with the smiling and grateful dead.
  96. >The air is a matte yellow, the dirt is dead and toxic to the touch.
  97. >Where once you fought alongside a hundred different races now there are only four.
  98. >Man
  99. >Machine
  100. >Raven
  101. >Rat
  102. >The women were pulled from the front three months in, with the ladies gone the gloves came off, militarily.
  103. >Nuclear carpet bombings of continents, poison gas that makes all metal rust to dust, bio-engineered creatures that consumed all, and devices that could turn oceans to steam in a single second.
  104. >The worst things though were the disease strikes, to walk through the rivers of pus and burst exoskeleton.
  105. >Purifications were worse than capturing the trenches, sitting in the bunkers that felt like ovens as the area around you was being sterilized from orbit with heat rays to ensure every last particle of whatever are in those weapons is totally denatured.
  106. >The tops of the bunkers would become molten slag, and the earth would melt the soles off your boots three days after the fact.
  107. >Your army group is the first to hold out against the Jeewol without the usage of disease strikes or the locusts, and from the fact that Rema is still inhabited, since you haven't used and steam bombs.
  108. >You've held them here for three months, each day chipping at your soul just a little bit.
  109. >Who would've guessed that sitting in a grave-deep hole filled with poison while mortars, airstrikes, artillery and assaults keeping you alert would grind you down.
  110. >Few things compare to the first assault you go through, the chaos of it all, the screaming, the pops and sizzles of plasma hitting their marks.
  111. >You sit in the trench cleaning your carbine, ensuring the cleaner covers every inch of the composite material is damn near reflective.
  112. >As you finish your stomach drops, you turn to your faceless comrades, every one of them is on edge.
  113. >It tears the air apart. No one's heard that sound since the war began
  114. >A Sharp whistle.
  115. >"CHAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEEEEE" shouts colonel before going over the top
  116. >You haul ass over the dirt mound straight into no man's land
  117. >The wiz of plasma bolts and cackling of electrical arcs.
  118. >Tanks the size of houses tears their way from their entrenched positions with strenuous growls of their engines
  119. >A faint whoosh, the entire Jeewol trench line bursts into flame
  120. >The black form of an aircraft fades as you reach the trench.
  121. >The barbed wire is flattened by the months of artillery bombardment poses no threat to the tide of men pouring out of the trenches.
  122. >The flames have died down as you prepare to dive into the Jeewol trench.
  123. >Two hands wrap around your ankle,
  124. >Before looking you already trained your gun.
  125. >The insectoid begs "Please, kill-end"
  126. >The creature has had its lower end ripped from the rest of its body.
  127. >You say a silent apology before turning the Jeewol into a pile of charred gore.
  128. >You meet up with your squad at the entrance to the bunkers.
  129. >The charges have been planted; a quick glance tells you to take point.
  130. >The rat with the switch slinks behind you, his flexible mask twitches excitedly as he rubs his finger over the detonator.
  131. >Your squad of 10 has taken point at the T shaped break from the bunker.
  132. >A bubbling hiss followed by a wave of heat signals the breach.
  133. >Two sets of green compound eyes
  134. >One trigger pull, two eyes gone.
  135. >A blue flash from behind you and the other set is no more.
  136. >The remaining Jeewol in the bunker are unarmed, so Sarge calls in a MP team to take prisoners.
  137. >The rat agrees to meet back up with us at the Jeewol artillery positions.
  138. >You and your squad start working your way through the winding maze of fortifications.
  139. >Each corner is another firefight for a while.
  140. >It switched from pulling a trigger to thrusting your bayonet.
  141. >The hisses and death-screams you can never get used to.
  142. >The first to die is Sarge, a set of claws to the throat.
  143. >Next is the Raven, plasma bolt.
  144. >Now all that remains is men and a machine.
  145. >A shrapnel cannon at the other end of a trench ensures that only men remain.
  146. >The first human to fall had his legs stolen from him by a wire trap.
  147. >The next got a tear in his mask and was shot by another member of the squad.
  148. >An act of mercy, to be fair.
  149. >The last to fall was the silent fellow, and died as he lived, silently.
  150. >A pipe blown from some godless distance wound up impaling him through the neck.
  151. >Died before he knew he was dead.
  152. >The squad is halved, and finally you can see your target.
  153. >Two of the four men left take point on a heavy machine gun.
  154. >You and the Brit make a mad dash to the nearest cover.
  155. >A steel hand comes out of nowhere.
  156. >The vice grip fortunately doesn't crush your windpipe instantly.
  157. >A blue flash and the sensation of heat on your chest signals the deactivation of the machine.
  158. >You trudge on, the will to not die overwhelming the desire to catch your breath.
  159. >Then you hear it.
  160. >A faint whistle.
  161. >Slowly getting louder.
  162. >The first battery of guns is engulfed in an inferno and turns it into a heap of half-molten metal.
  163. >for the first time in months you see the sky unaltered by the poison.
  164. >The red of the planet's sky being revealed by the change in pressure from the blast.
  165. >Another whistle but you can seem to pinpoint where it is.
  166. >You hear Brit scream before.
  167. >Nothing.
  168. >Just falling.
  169. >Your face hurts though, eyes wet.
  170. >For whatever reason you can seem to open your eyes.
  171. >You try to stand.
  172. >But each time your legs buckle.
  173. >Then it hits.
  174. >Pain.
  175. >Everywhere.
  176. >At first you try to bear it.
  177. >You begin to heave.
  178. >A female scream.
  179. >What?
  180. >There haven't been women on the front in over a year.
  181. >Just where in the hell are you?
  182. >You try to rise once more.
  183. >And fall once again.
  184. >This time you fall back into the bliss of unconsciousness.
  185. >
  186. >
  187. >When you wake, you are dazed.
  188. >Despite the fact you can't seem to open your eyes the world seems to be spinning.
  189. >Beep, beep, beep, and the shouting of what seems to be at least a half-dozen men and women.
  190. >Hospital.
  191. >You think.
  192. >"How is he alive?!" yells what you think to be a doctor.
  193. >"HELL IF I KNOW" yells a panicked feminine voice.
  194. >"The front is at least ten miles from here, how could someone in this condition make it that far." angrily states the doctor.
  195. >"Must not be me" you think before drifting back into a state of unconsciousness.
  196. >You wake again.
  197. >Still unable to open your eyes.
  198. >You hear the Colonel speaking.
  199. >"I'm so sorry Anon, no one should have to go through what you have..."
  200. >"What?"
  201. >"Good to see that you're awake" he says
  202. >"What happened"
  203. >"Danger close artillery sent you twelve miles from the front lines. Every bone up to your hips shattered, both of your arms are broken."
  204. >"What?" a hint of panic in your voice.
  205. >"Don't worry Anon, you'll be back up and running, but you won't be serving anymore. Plus the last bit of your recovery won't be here on Rema. You'll be shipped out in a week at the earliest.
  206. >"Colonel, where am I? I can't open my eyes."
  207. >"Anon, you have no eyes for now." says the Colonel
  208. >You try to move your hand to your face
  209. >"Sorry Anon, you can't move at the moment either, they can't risk you damaging anything else."
  210. >"Sir" Is there anyone else in the room?"
  211. >"Well Miss introduce yourself." The Colonel beckons
  212. >"H-Hello Anon, I'm Julia Yeomem, I found you after you landed" says the voice.
  213. >"Thank you, Julia."
  214. >"Farewell Anon, best of luck." Says the Colonel
  215. >Then the closing of a door and thud of heavy boots on tile.
  216. >A pit grows in your stomach. the almost inaudible claps of machine gun fire and mortar blasts trigger things.
  217. >Despite the inability to see, you can see every face from before the air turned yellow.
  218. >The smiling recruits that turned into decayed corpses.
  219. >Every face that fell.
  220. >Every broken mask that filled with gore and red.
  221. That Korvan with a cough, one of the few people you would've called a friend.
  222. >His body twisted, but his face wears that signature smile.
  223. >But like all the others, he decays.
  224. >First the softness of skin and scale.
  225. >Second in the lining of blood vessels.
  226. >By the time the last of the veins have run dry the mass is nothing but bone and what little armor is left.
  227. >The smiles, or frowns of the dead are seemingly always portrayed through their masks or skeletal faces.
  228. >"Anon are you alright? Do I need to call a nurse for more painkillers?" Coos Julia
  229. >"No, I can't feel a thing as it is."
  230. >"Oh." Julia mumbles.
  231. >You lie on the bed for forever and yet what seems like a very short period of time.
  232. >Alas you fall asleep, this time consenting to unconsciousness.
  233. >You wish you hadn't though.
  234. >The dreams were that of you being subject to a disease strike.
  235. >Your body decomposes into fist sized pustule before bursting.
  236. >The yellow goop thinned by blood.
  237. >To look in a mirror to see just your eyes remaining in your face.
  238. >When your body hits the floor, you awake.
  239. >You feel wet.
  240. >Everywhere.
  241. >You stay there locked in a single position.
  242. >Time is a non-factor on what comes next.
  243. >The recurring nightmare that every man in the trenches has.
  244. >The horseman of progress.
  245. The glow of fire glows through the eyes of his mechanical horse.
  246. >He wears a mask over his face, one of wide smiles, of good intention.
  247. >He sits there, in the pitch darkness.
  248. >The grind of gears, the metal hoof rising.
  249. >"no"
  250. >The entity approached with clacking.
  251. >The smiling mask drops on its face, the illusion shattered.
  252. >His eyes burning with the fire of hell, but tired and worn.
  253. >His smile dead with the plight of the past.
  254. >"Oh Anon, how tragic. Ironic isn't it? How you can see me in full with no eyes" the horseman mocks.
  255. >You get the feeling that you're about to be "lost" to the future.
  256. >"Why not just kill me when I was on the brink horseman?"
  257. >The eyes of the entity dim for a second.
  258. >"I'm not here to kill you Anon, quite frankly I have a plan for you. Not that you're obligated to it." States the Horseman.
  259. >"What?"
  260. >"The person who you owe your life to is lying to your right. She hasn't left your side since you've been interred into this place." Says the horseman
  261. >"How does that change anything?"
  262. >The entity smiles "She is the plan, both of you hurt. Feel the pain together, but do remember the voice, it will be what heals you."
  263. >"Get to the point"
  264. >Progress frowns "You really don't get it do you? Both of you play a key role in the plan. I am not gonna let those four old riders outdo me again."
  265. >"So, I'm a game piece to you?"
  266. >"Yes and no Anon, the four horsemen, the new ones, Progress, Preservation, Pleasure, and Purity, we are the Horsemen of Eternity. Without preservation there is no progress, and without progress there is no preservation. Only death, famine, war, and pestilence. Same goes for the balance between pleasure and purity, lean too far on one and you place yourself before the lances of the apocalypse."
  267. >"And what does one newly crippled soldier do with your grand plan?"
  268. >The horseman sighs. "Anon, you play into the balance critically, for no other reason than that us new horsemen are trying to set a new balance, this war, and its unevenness has killed more people than any other before. Mr. Human as you may call him inadvertently created us by escalating the conflict. For that if you give into death there will be no more life, and thus the apocalypse is beckoned forth."
  269. >"So the little tragedies add up, don't they."
  270. >"Finally, you get it" beams the horseman. "I think I'll see you again Anon."
  271. >The mechanical horse rears up, a hiss of steam rather than a neigh.
  272. >It launches into a full gallop, and into the nothing.
  273. >Again, you sit in the emptiness, nothing but darkness.
  274. >Whelp.
  275. >No more hallucinations, or "visits". -First Update End
  276. >You drift in the unfathomable pain of comatose.
  277. >Again, time seems to speed up, slow down, freeze, and go in loops.
  278. >A whirring wakes you.
  279. >The high-pitched squeal of metal on bone.
  280. >"Hurrr"
  281. >You can't form words.
  282. >The icy mechanical voice breaks the whirring.
  283. >"You will be unable to speak for the next-" A string of unknown clicking "-seven hours and seventeen minutes."
  284. >The whirring continues with intermittent clicking, hydraulic thumps and hisses, and electrical clacks.
  285. >You should be feeling something, some sort of sensation.
  286. >You realize that you must be drugged to high hell.
  287. >Ah well.
  288. >You slip back into the nothing.
  289. >In the nothing your mind wanders, black feathers, diseased faces, and the same place but with a thousand skies.
  290. >Alas a new place is presented, a dead tree.
  291. >Whelp.
  292. >
  293. >Time passed and the not-quite-there tree looms in deathly ominous nothing.
  294. >Unlike the subtle and slow reawakening of the past few times this time you are yanked violently from comatose.
  295. >Cries, shouting doctors, and all sorts of beeps and compressing sounds.
  296. >"Miss this man was at one point CONSCIOUS?!" Shouts a stressed doctor
  297. >A Nurse shouts after "Not only that sir but also able to speak and eat as unimpaired as possible!"
  299. >Julia is the next to shout "WE BOTH TRIED. NOW WHAT'S WRONG WITH HIM."
  300. >"Well for starters he's a fucking human, out equipment is calibrated for Anjekans, Ravens, and Rats not fucking HUMANS." The Doctor barks
  301. >"AND? The only difference between a human and an Anjekan is a lack of wings and solid bones." Shouts back Julia.
  303. >You raise your sore arms to cover your ears. The noise is far too much.
  304. >Suddenly the room is silent.
  305. >A hand is placed on each wrist and your arms are pulled from your ears.
  306. >"Why?" you say a hint of sadness ringing through it.
  307. >"By the Gods of Goda..." mumbles the doctor.
  308. >"See, the procedure worked." says Julia
  309. >"...Maybe." Says the doctor after a few seconds.
  310. >With a newfound voice the doctor speaks "Please Mr. Anon, try to make a fist."
  311. >You clench a tight fist which is followed by the audible "Oh's" of the nurse and doctor.
  312. >After a period of silence, a feathery embrace and a beak rests on your shoulder.
  313. >The nurse ruins the sweet moment "Well Anon, you'll be transferred to the Medical Station orbiting Mars in two days for your new eyes."
  314. >Julia pipes up next, "Miss, will I be able to accompany him to Mars."
  315. >"I'm not so sure about that Ms. Yeomem, you might have to take that up with the local MedCorps Officer." Says the nurse.
  316. >The Doctor chimes in again "He's in the main office to the left of the room. I can take you there if you'd like."
  317. >You didn't even know that the MedCorps even existed, you were all too familiar with the Hosplitar that served with you who would "send home" soldiers who were wounded in the trenches.
  318. >"Mr. Lefo, could you watch over Mr. Anon while I take Ms. Yeomem to the MedCorps Officer?" Politely asks the Doctor.
  319. >Mr. Lefo accepts, and the door closes behind the two.
  320. ><
  321. ><
  322. ><
  323. >You leave Anon in the hospital room, a feeling of pity and sadness in the pit of your chest.
  324. >You can hardly bear to see him smile without bursting into tears.
  325. >The Doctor turns to you "How was he like when you found him, I heard that he was the 'miracle'?"
  326. >"He was trying to stand, his visor had broken into his eyes, but he thought something was over them. He fell then went unconscious, I screamed, and within a minute a transport was there using three paramedics to lift the limp body of Anon onto a stretcher and the last led me into the vehicle."
  327. >The Doctor was in awe, his beak was wide open, "You mean after a ten-mile fall, losing his eyes, and rupturing several organs he was conscious and able to move?!"
  328. >You nervously laugh, "Yes."
  329. >The Doctor mumbles something about how that shouldn't have been possible and how humans must be bred for war.
  330. >You have a bit of a heaviness in your heart, almost an anxiety about the previously unknown man's health.
  331. >As a matter of fact, you only knew Anon's name after his former CO was called in to identify a human where he too was in utter awe at his survival.
  332. >You still remember the exact words too "Anon you mad bastard, we thought you had joined the rest of your company in the grave. No, I guess the 2nd Regiment's 4th Company remains with a single man clinging to life." He then turned to you "Ma'am I don't know you, but I do thank you, if he's all that survives I would be more than grateful for the comfort that at least one man survived than madman's offensive.
  333. >You had yet to speak with him at that point, but you had silently promised the Colonel that you would take care of him.
  334. >You'd grown attached to the man, his scared and rugged body waking something long hidden in you.
  335. >Just something you'd never really noticed until you could see a man's muscles and scars, something not found in Ravens.
  336. >And well, you're quite glad no one came in that room during that night as they might've heard your heavy breathing.
  337. >Nothing ever came of it but there is something about him.
  338. >The ding of an elevator you'd forgotten that you were at snaps you from your "fonder" thoughts.
  339. >The Raven Doctor tries to make small talk; you are quite obviously out of it.
  340. >"You know Ms. Yeomem, I'm free on evenings." is the only sentence that makes it past your ambiance filter.
  341. >"Doctor, I'm both not interested in a hookup or a date."
  342. >"Ms. Yeomem, I simply want to get you out of the hospital, the front has moved twenty miles from here and it's quite safe from literal raining men." The doctor plainly states.
  343. >"Sorry Doctor old habit."
  344. >"It's fine, but seriously, get out of the hospital every now and then. You've been in here for the past two months." The doctor says.
  345. >The elevator dings, a small crowd of visitors, nurses, surgeons, and plague corps adorned with their bio-hazard symbols.
  346. >The two soldiers stand at the front of the door, the elevator dings into a silent metal box.
  347. >The two soldiers break the silence, "Can believe that the human was the first to lead an offensive. Four million of the 34th's finest in two fucking hours. Those men were irreplaceable, one of the FEW survivors of the nearby 17th Division is right upstairs."
  348. >"I get it man, your brother died, but at least it was quick, painless even, that's more than we deserve."
  349. >"We follow orders, I don't think any creature other than a HUMAN would even think such things."
  350. >"Aren't you from Ilko?"
  351. >"So?"
  352. >"The planet that was saved by the bio-bombing campaign. 'bout a month ago."
  353. >"Fuck you." snapped the Ilkan.
  354. >"Hey, you lost your brother not your fucking homeworld like me."
  355. >"Oh yeah, where are you from?" the Ilkan barks
  356. >"Draak, you know the now irradiated wasteland of a planet."
  357. >"Oh, sorry man." the Ilkan slinks.
  358. >"Yeah, now shut the fuck up."
  359. >...
  360. >Okay that happened.
  361. >Finally, the final ding, it opens then into a great hall of medicine.
  362. >New statues have been erected, gods, symbols, notably Saint John and Jesus, Apollo, the Reaper held at bay with a shield, and a DNA strand made from two serpent's fangs barred.
  363. >You must've missed the sudden explosion of faith on the planet.
  364. >I guess dying people try to find salvation.
  365. >Ah well you've been trying to save someone else.
  366. >Off to the right of the elevator the Doctor leads you through an unassuming door and into what appears to be the local HQ for both the plague corps and MedCorps.
  367. >A NCO points you in the direction of the MedCorps transfer office.
  368. >"Room 42, on the left." the young hawk says, almost cheerily.
  369. >He stares as you leave towards the line of temporary offices.
  370. >Sitting at the least interesting office is bored man.
  371. >And you have to deal with a stoned, likely uncaring officer.
  372. >"Soooooo Ms. Yeomem riiiight?" lazily says the man
  373. >"Yes"
  374. >"Doctor Que've informed me you'd be coming. I take it you're here because of Mr. Anon." the man says, not so much as trying to hide his boredom.
  375. >"Yes"
  376. >"Here's some papers, we get so few requests you'll be auto-approved." he chimes while reaching under his desk to find the right folder.
  377. >With a light smack a folder lands on your side of the desk, you open the folder to find three papers.
  378. >You reach into a mug full of pens, and with periodic thumps and swishes, the name Julia Yeomem is signed on every paper needed, the dates filled out in galactic standard.
  379. >The man looks almost asleep.
  380. >"Sir I need your signature here."
  381. >The man snaps awake "Right, right, right."
  382. >In a rush he signs.
  383. >"Alright, tomorrow I'll send your card up to Anon's room to find you."
  384. >You leave the hidden HQ and towards the elevator.
  385. >By the time you get back to Anon's room, he's out cold.
  386. >You decide to give him a hug, rest your beak on his head for a while, then turn on the T.V to catch up on recent events.
  387. ><
  388. ><
  389. >< -Second Update End
  390. >The next few days pass with a nice, relaxing routine, with minimal movement.
  391. >Wake up, eat with Julia, distract yourself from the pain until mid-morning snack, listen to an audiobook, eat lunch, sleep.
  392. >One thing passes through your head on your one night in the hospital on Rema, "And for a time it was good..."
  393. >The day begins with a gentle waking from one of the nurses, and with it a question.
  394. >"What do you want for Breakfast Mr. Anon?"
  395. >"Ask Julia I don't particularly care."
  396. >"Sorry Anon she's packing for your transfer to Mars. Did you forget."
  397. >You honestly have no idea how long you've been here, less so of forgetfulness more so being unable to determine if time has passed.
  398. >Whelp.
  399. >In the awkwardness you lie "I guess I had, sorry ma'am."
  400. >"It's fine sir, I'll get you a stock breakfast for the blind, is that okay?" states the nurse.
  401. >"Thank you ma-" the sound a door closing cuts you off.
  402. >You lay there and wait, and wait, and wait some more, until finally the door opens again.
  403. >From what sounds to be a burly and large man comes "Oops, wrong room, get well soon."
  404. >Okay that just happened.
  405. >Back to waiting.
  406. ><
  407. ><
  408. ><
  409. >You cram all you can into the two suitcases, all your remaining worldly possessions.
  410. >Well, at least it isn't atomized or radioactive, unlike your ex and your entire homeworld.
  411. >You miss the green forests, moss covered mountains and the lovely brass ingrained in the near black wood.
  412. >Not that annoying prick though, he can stay dead for all the shit he tried to pull.
  413. >Regardless you pack up what little you have, ten articles of each clothing.
  414. >Each piece holds some sentimental value; from the blouse you wore on Draak to dress you wore to your grandparents funeral.
  415. >Then there's the once that used to be white, now its blood-stain brown.
  416. >Complements of your favorite Anon.
  417. >You would throw it out, but there's something about it that you think might be important later.
  418. >Into its own plastic bag and tied up it goes.
  419. >You look over to your watch, its holographic timer displays a green 22 Minutes counting down by the second towards 0.
  420. >You brush your hand into the light, and it dissipates into a cloud, then you swipe the watch itself.
  421. >A simple wrap and click and the gold-plated band is wrapped around your scaled wrist being the only thing of discernible different color.
  422. >You haven't properly bathed in the past week and being in a military hospital you reek of musk, the metallic smell of blood.
  423. >The worst bit is your feathers; they're starting to curl at the edges.
  424. >Uggghhhh, the thought alone ruffles your feathers.
  425. >With your last twenty minutes you fill the bowl-shaped tub with nice hot water.
  426. >You place in some feather conditioner, soap, and an un-curling agent.
  427. >You strip, removing each layer with a degree of bliss underneath each.
  428. >Finally, you step into the clear bowl of water.
  429. >And then you bend over and rummage through it.
  430. >Suds, water, and grime fly across the small bathroom.
  431. >Brown flakes mixed with white bubbles; metallic shards make the floor look covered in glitter.
  432. >You stand there in a now half-empty tub, still dripping wet but no longer covered in suds or grime.
  433. >And for the favorite part of your childhood.
  434. >3
  435. >2
  436. >1
  437. >Go!
  438. >SHAKEY SHAKEY SHAKEY, from booty to your beak you gotta shake shake shake.
  439. >And in under a minute you are dry as your sex life.
  440. >Feeling refreshed you hose down the bathroom with a bit of pep in your step.
  441. >You take your two bags and march down the hall, getting to the elevator and with an over exaggerated leg lift you press in the down button with your foot.
  442. >In your walk to the train station you notice an excess of soldiers.
  443. >Not combat troops by those in the logistical section of the military
  444. >Checkpoints being taken down, engineers removing HE charges from buildings, and filling traps with concrete.
  445. >The train is on time with only one MP on the train for the first time in God knows how long.
  446. >On the ride there you can see 30 Series Siege Tanks being run along the industrial lines.
  447. >Tanks and the likely culprit of Anon's newfound lack of eyes, the famous 1 ton inferno shell.
  448. >The fire painted on the warhead is a clear sign of the model.
  449. >After your line splits off from the one headed to the military station the hospital complex comes into front view.
  450. >The billboard displaying miracles and impossibilities shows a pre-wound face of Anon.
  451. >You could only tell from the name, and to put it gently you needed to cross your legs.
  452. >You are going to have this human so help you.
  453. ><
  454. ><
  455. ><
  456. >You never did get breakfast, but you did have your arm casts removed before you get wheeled out.
  457. >Down the hall, a few personnel gasped and whispered "I thought that guy died weeks ago"
  458. >Gee thanks.
  459. >You get wheeled to the bottom floor where you are put in a wheelchair.
  460. >Fucking finally, you can move somewhat now.
  461. >Back on the move you are wheeled onto a med-ship, and according to the speakers due to head to the Martian Orbital Medical Complex, or the MOMCOM as the Plague Boys called it. -Update 2.5
  462. >Boarding is easy, up a ramp, onto an elevator and into your new, albeit temporary quarters.
  463. >The room is rather nice; it smells of lavender and lemon and soothing music plays quietly.
  464. >The PA system gives a countdown of departure and the groups that are currently boarding.
  465. >First is families, then the elderly, then those who are accompanying the wounded or ill, then individuals, and lastly the 2nd Division of 80 Series 17th Army.
  466. >Those guys were hard but were much too honorable to serve in the trenches, oftentimes they would help storming fortresses and raiding supply depots.
  467. >They never did have the stomach to trench clear though, the melee was never their strong suit.
  468. >As you reminisce about the killing fields the gentle sound of footsteps eludes you.
  469. >Until your door opens, the gentle but audible footsteps were feminine, not the heavy brutish footsteps of veterans or the loud yet careful steps of fathers.
  470. >"Hey Anon." Julia jovially says, a bit of coo coming in at the end.
  471. >"Julia" you nearly rejoice. "I didn't think you were coming with me to the MOMCOM!"
  472. >"Yeah well" she sighs "When you find the human who refuses to die the MedCorps tend to let you follow him."
  473. >"I didn't refuse to die, I just thought it was someone else."
  474. >"What?" Julia says inquisitively.
  475. >"I thought my eyes were just swollen shut due to gas exposure and my legs were crushed by some debris."
  476. >It isn't glamorous, but the truth is the truth.
  477. >"I guess that makes sense then." Julia coos with a bit of melancholy.
  478. >"That's why humans are the best species we've seen at war; you are simply able to detach from it entirely" She says under her breath.
  479. >"No"
  480. >"What?" Julia says with a startle.
  481. >"You're wrong."
  482. >"How, you just said you did think you were the one who sustained wounds that should've killed a squad of other race's men" She says a bit of harshness in tone.
  483. >"Humans are good at it because we don't know anything else."
  484. >"What does that even mean?" She demands.
  485. >"Do you know our history? We haven't had a period of more than a decade without a war breaking out somewhere. It is a fear of every man that you would one day get a white piece of paper calling to a war he never wanted, to die for a cause he never believed in, and from thirteen THOUSAND years of this humanity hardened its heart."
  486. >You pause to take a shallow breath and realize your rather aggressive tone
  487. >"That is why humans are good at war, not because we like it but because we know it to be our fate from birth."
  488. >The room is silent apart from your monitors.
  489. >A whisper can be heard from where you think Julia is "Never had I heard it from a human I guess."
  490. >She speaks up, unaware that you clearly heard her "I have to get to work, I'll be back in a few hours. Goodbye Anon."
  491. >With that she walks out of the room and leaves you alone with your thoughts.
  492. >
  493. >Whir.
  494. >Clack.
  495. >A steam release.
  496. >Oh God no.
  497. >Not again.
  498. >"Hello Anon."
  499. >Why now.
  500. >"It’s been too long.
  501. >"Hello Progress" you choke out, as if you had a set of Jeewol claws pressed against your throat.
  502. >You see the mechanical horse rise from the nothing on your left.
  503. >Its masked rider looking down on where your body would be.
  504. >"How are you today Progress?"
  505. >The entity speaks again "So-so, Death is getting stronger as the Galactic Marines throw themselves head first into hell. On the plus size the spread of Christianity has allowed Purity to go haywire, your species basal hedonism has empowered Pleasure to an ungodly extent, and preservation has been getting stronger steadily. As for me I too am getting stronger as every faction gets better and better technology."
  506. >"Wow" you say nonchalantly.
  507. >"Oh, don't be like that Anon, you're helping all life receive our quartet's gifts. I Cho-, never mind, I came here to tell you something."
  508. >The masker rider of progress dismounts his steed of bronze and steel.
  509. >He leans just over your left shoulder and whispers "Soon you will be healed. Soon you will have to get to work Anon. You and I want the same thing, for things to progress."
  510. >He leans back up, mounts his steed and fades back into nothing.
  511. ><
  512. ><
  513. ><
  514. >Anon's view of humans and war is an alien one, but you suppose the theories of a race that hasn't fought a war for over a thousand years and refuse to get involved in this one wouldn't know.
  515. >Or maybe it’s the view of one who's world knows nothing else.
  516. >As you leave the room you hear him start quietly talking about Progress.
  517. >Odd but anyone could be after six weeks in the hospital.
  518. >You walk down the worn hallway of the obviously salvaged vessel. Decay seeps into the corners of every hallway.
  519. >The rumble of the ship is nonexistent but it is very slow moving, or at least compared to the warships of the ten thousands of systems fighting the Jeewol.
  520. >The most eerie bit is that there are no windows on this vessel.
  521. >Regardless, you are still employed even if you are bound to care for Anon.
  522. >You cross two other medical hallways, one you hear nothing, the other has muffled sobbing from some rooms.
  523. >God this is not a fun place to be.
  524. >Your room is simply adorned.
  525. >Rust patch on the main wall, a plain white cot with Imperial issued blue sheets, and a fat orange folder on the fold out desk.
  526. >That's new for sure.
  527. >Within the folder is Anon's file, all the photos, documents, and videos.
  528. >PIs and inter-system media companies are a match made in heaven.
  529. >Mixed with your personal experience with Anon and what corporate is willing to provide you have all the tools to make the story of the year.
  530. >"Inside the War: Life in the 30 Series."
  531. >Boom, title.
  532. >Your excitement with the project falls as sharply as Anon's quality of life did after conscription.
  533. >You knew it was bad but this.
  534. >This is different.
  535. >Only four races could serve yours’s among the unfortunate few, ironically called the Iron Pillars.
  536. >With your skim through done, the videos to use already sent to you.
  537. >You begin to compile the video elements, write scripts, and start on effects, but you need more.
  538. >As you dig through more impersonal documents containing more numbers than letters a dreadful feeling sets in.
  539. >You know Anon has seen some of these things based on the scars all over him.
  540. >You have to make a call to someone.
  541. >You flip through the list of business contacts.
  542. >Ah, there it is.
  543. >Mr. Yel-Elo
  544. >God, I hate this guy
  545. >Ring
  546. >Ring
  547. >"Hello? This is Mr. Yel-Elo speaking, who is this?"
  548. >Hello Mr. Yel, this is Ms. Yeomem. Are you sure this story can be aired?"
  549. >The director of publication appears to hesitate a moment before responding "That's Mr. Yel-Elo to you woman. You were asked to do a report on the 30 Series."
  550. >"Sir this section of the military will not be family friendly for a primetime viewing."
  551. >"Ms. Yeomem... I think I know what the audience wants to see, after all I have been doing this for well over three hundred years." Mr. Yel-Elo says condescendingly.
  552. >God You hate this prick.
  553. >Mr. Yel-Elo you do realize you will be showing an uncensored video of most atrocity-class weapons in action. If you anger the people enough you may disappear like Mr. Louhik of Lazarus Media." you reply with a bit of annoyance in your voice.
  554. >"Do not compare me to that damned Ancie woman. I am much more powerful and have many, many more friends." he bitterly replies. "Just send in the story and I'll make sure you keep your job, and if you don't, I hope that this "Anon" character can feed two people."
  555. >"Yes sir" you cave.
  556. >Back to work.
  557. >The story is grim, uncut videos of steam bombs rolling over civilian centers, early disease strikes in urban areas, and a bird’s eye view of a fallen fortress, both inside and out.
  558. >It's what Mr. Yel-Elo wanted so it’s what he'll get.
  559. >You need a closing video.
  560. >You sit taking a deep breath, Anon would be perfect if he was awake.
  561. >Actually, you need to check up on him.
  562. >You press the button to release the failing hall light onto you.
  563. >Nope, it’s even darker in the halls.
  564. >What?
  565. >You go back into your cabin and grab a light.
  566. >You pass the hallway with the sobbing in silence.
  567. >Muffled cheers can be heard in the other.
  568. >Ironic.
  569. >When you do get to the hallway Anon is in a sense of dread falls over you.
  570. >Like a predator stalking its prey.
  571. >From the corner of your eyes you can almost see two burning coals.
  572. >The closer you get to Anon's room the more intense the feeling grows.
  573. >As the automated door hisses open you swear where Anon's eyes used to be a glow emanated for but a second.
  574. >Fuck today is creepy.
  575. >After the seal hisses shut Anon wakes up.
  576. >"Julia? Are you there?" He quietly asks into the darkness.
  577. >"Yes Anon, I'm here." You say in a sanguine, motherly voice.
  578. >Oh God that's embarrassing.
  579. >Anon snorts.
  580. >If you had visible skin you would be redder than a lobster after a kool-aid man bukkake.
  581. >He then transitions into that laugh you love so much.
  582. >You almost hate to ask your next question.
  583. >"Can you help with a report?"
  584. >Even though he's blind he faces dead at you "Yeah, sure. What do you need a blind man to help with?" he says with a waking voice.
  585. >"Could you tell me what happened after the women left? During the war that is."
  586. >God that was hard to say.
  587. >Anon frowns, even without his eyes he conveys a great deal of pain with his frown alone.
  588. >"We dove headfirst into hell. The first day the women left I was in the last hold of Draak. We were surrounded, then in a flash of atomic light, we weren't. Then carpet glassed the continent. We boys on the walls called it the fireworks. Then we launched a counterattack. Then we left Draak for good after giving it a good-bye steam bomb.
  589. >Your audio recorder has been on since you entered the room, and for whatever reason you feel dirty.
  590. >"Where did you go next Anon."
  591. >"Some industrial world, I saw the Canids go mad as they sat in a trench filled with their kind's children's skeletons. Our trench line was on the ruins of a school. The first Felids also started going mad here too come to think of it." he says, lament ingrained in his voice.
  592. >"What happened to the mad?"
  593. >"We put them down." He replies with the same lamenting tone.
  594. >Holy shit, what?
  595. >"I'm sorry what?" is all you can say.
  596. >"We led them into a bunker's empty armory and opened fire. Not one still lives, and half-way through my next deployment the Iron decree was issued." He says, still lamenting.
  597. >"Did you win?"
  598. >"No." He says, still lamenting.
  599. >"Where did you go next?"
  600. >"That hellscape known as Folidae" He states, anger hidden behind false calm.
  601. >Even you wince at the name.
  602. >You had to report from inside of a disease-strike'd bunker. alone with the corpses.
  603. >"You want to talk about it."
  604. >"No. I lost too much in that godless land." Anon growls, and accent previously unknown seeping into his voice.
  605. >You respect his decision but write in your own experience in its place.
  606. >Just thinking about it makes your feathers feel withered.
  607. >After a long session of Q&A you finally have all you need.
  608. >"Anything else Julia?" Anon asks that accent still in his voice.
  609. >"Can I get a hug?"
  610. >He pats his chest "Come 'ere Julia."
  611. >You flap onto his chest.
  612. >"Urph!" Anon groans.
  613. >"S-Sorry Anon."
  614. >"You just winded me that's all." He says.
  615. >His embrace is cool and firm.
  616. >You can barely feel his heartbeat through your feathers.
  617. >You two lie there just enjoying the quiet.
  618. >You feel Anon drift off to sleep.
  619. >Might as well join him in his rest. - Update 3
  620. ><
  621. ><
  622. ><
  623. ><
  624. ><
  625. >You wake up the same way you went to sleep.
  626. >Covered in a feathery figure.
  627. >What?
  628. >Oh right!
  629. >Julia fell asleep atop you last night after interrogating you about some of the worst of the war.
  630. >Why?
  631. >You'll ask when she wakes up.
  632. >In the meanwhile, you reflect upon your time in the hospital
  633. >For a while you could do little but wriggle your neck some, as if trapped in a cocoon of gauze and casts.
  634. >Fortunately, you were unconscious for most of that.
  635. >Your arms sustained a nasty break each but have healed now.
  636. >As for your lower half, you think your bones might be shards not powder.
  637. >You're basing that on the fact that it feels like your femurs feel like a tube of sewing needles.
  638. >A familiar feeling washes over you as a set of feathers brush your nose.
  639. >And you were enjoying the moment too
  640. >Ah
  641. >AH
  642. >ACHOO!
  643. >Sonofabitch
  644. >A set of talons wrap around your leg casts brushes of wind rush over your face.
  645. >And a very startled CAW! can be heard.
  647. >You fight the pain for a few moments.
  648. >And then you pass out.
  649. >
  650. >
  651. >After a time, you awaken.
  652. >You feel a tenseness in the room.
  653. >You move your head around trying to hear breathing in any corner.
  654. >Far left, two, one much heavier than the other.
  655. >Before you can try to identify the people a strange voice fills the room
  656. >"Well Ms. Yeomem, tell us why you were in here after hours and almost lifted him off the bed?"
  657. >"I can answer that."
  658. >The voice gasps "How are you even awake?
  659. >"I wasn't killed instantly, so why am I alive?"
  660. >"True but irrelevant Mr. Anon" snaps the other woman.
  661. >"If I had eyes and legs you wouldn't be oh so prideful Ma'am" you growl
  662. >"My husband is in the 40 Series mister; it doesn't get harder than that" The woman growls
  663. >"30, I was a trencher, the 40 Series couldn't hold Folidae for a month even during civilian evac."
  664. >"Oh, you were a replaceable, typical human." The woman remarks
  665. >"You’re a Falcon yes?" You say hiding your hateful tone.
  666. >"A True-born." She smugly says
  667. >"On my way to the second line I helped extinguish the rebellion on Folcal Minor. My division alone was sent to break the 1st Royal Army. I must say for the finest warriors of a world they put up a pathetic defense, I held a whole building under siege from an entire company before I alone had finished off every last one. Laser weapons work wonders against feathers, just so you know." You slyly remark
  668. >"You are a monster Human. You have no respect when you speak of the dead, no honor, not a shred of compassion, you killed my kind and feel nothing." She growls
  669. >"Lest humans are not compelled to rebel against the races trying to save them, yet here you are defending traitors." you snap back.
  670. >"TRAITORS?! TRAITORS?! They weren’t traitors, they were freedom fighters, fighting for their people!" She passionately spouts
  671. >"Even blind I see more than you, they killed all non-falcons planetside, we were the Empire's workhorse, we are those who break the wills of the prejudiced, and you are in dire need of a breaking." You growl back.
  672. >"Do not speak of Falcons like that or you will get the claws like so many before you." She coldly states
  673. >"Don't mess with mankind, woman, or you shall feel its crushing weight against your kind." You reply in kind.
  674. >...
  675. >The room is silent for an eternity
  676. >Until Julia speaks up "Ma'am why were you in here in the first place?"
  677. >"His monitors noted he was in pain so they put me in." She whispers.
  678. >"Oh, yeah it passed." You awkwardly state.
  679. >"How did it even happen?" She says.
  680. >"H-Hey! Don't look at me Doc." Julia stammers out.
  681. >After a moment passes the weight in the air breaks you.
  682. >"I sneezed."
  683. >"What's a sneeze?" says the doctor
  684. >"Achoo."
  685. >"What are you trying to convey human?" she says annoyed.
  686. >"Forced, violent jerk forwards some mammals do for no reason."
  687. >"You mammals are so weird, and I used to think Ancie anatomy was janky." She states.
  688. >"Sorry for being a human."
  689. >You would've rolled your eyes if you had them
  690. >Well you don't
  691. >You can hear the mocking voice of yourself quietly saying "get fucked"
  692. >Well fuck you too.
  693. ><
  694. ><
  695. ><
  696. >Anon seems to be getting better, both physically and mentally.
  697. >He seems to be getting less and less happy being blind a unable to move
  698. >You assume anyone would.
  699. >Still he should be happy he's alive.
  700. >You stand there amid the tenseness of an angry falcon who looks like she's about the slash the throat of Anon
  701. >And Anon looks like he's about to start a one-man-war-of-attrition.
  702. >Whelp.
  703. >The doctor leaves the room shortly after the long silence resumes
  704. >The leather claw coverings thud in frustration as she leaves
  705. >"You alright Anon?"
  706. >"I'm just tired Julia, I'll be going back to sleep." Anon wearily says, his former energy gone.
  707. >You wait for Anon to fall asleep, all the while you are writing away on your notebook.
  708. >You start trying to write out how you intend to lay out the special.
  709. >Raw Footage>Anon Talking about battle>Explanation of equipment>Rema holds>Draak/Folidae>Hope?
  710. >No that sounds too up and front about the horror maybe
  711. >Rema holds>Hope>Raw Footage>Draak/Folidae>Equipment>Raw footage>Anon?
  712. >Better but hope and Rema should go at the end.
  713. >Alright, Draak/Folidae>Anon>Equipment>Rema>Raw Footage>Hope.
  714. >Got it!
  715. >With glee you walk out of Anon's quarters.
  716. >The two halls have people mulling between the patients, nurses making rounds and doctors peeping in and out of rooms.
  717. >The hall you're on has families and teenagers running around, two Korvan teenagers are locked at the lips, and a young human mother with two kids already and a third on the way.
  718. >She's pale skinned like Anon, maybe she's from Anon's home country.
  719. >As you approach the older child points and starts to tug on her mother's skirt "Look Mamma, Look! It's a big bird!"
  720. >Once you get close enough the girl asks you directly a very odd question "Are you Big Bird's sister?"
  721. >What?
  722. >Who is Big Bird?
  723. >Unfortunately, in your confusion all you do is bawk out "What Big is Bird?"
  724. >The girl goes into a giggling fit
  725. >Thank God you have feathers otherwise you'd be redder than a Hori communist's flag.
  726. >Her mother finally turns attention away from her stroller bound son.
  727. >"Oh, pardon little Beth! She just speaks her mind." she apologetically says.
  728. >"I actually wanted to ask you a question Miss." You awkwardly coo.
  729. >"Oh! Go ahead!" She cheers.
  730. >"Are you from the "South?" I think Anon calls it that." You are finally able to say normally but curiously
  731. >"Anon? And there are many "Souths" so to speak" She says a bit concerned
  732. >"Anon the Human from the planet we were just on." You say also a bit concerned.
  733. >"Oh! The almost-but-not-quite dead fella who was on the news for a day." She says
  734. >"Are you from the same South?" you cheerfully ask.
  735. >"Hun, he's just a white guy he could be from South Russia all I know." She answers comfortingly.
  736. >"Are you from a "South"?" You inquire
  737. >"Born and raised in the South of the U S of A~!" She beams
  738. >"Sorry for bothering you miss." You try to cheer as you sulk a few doors down
  739. >"It's no problem Miss." She smiles.
  740. >After closing the door. You lean against it and drop down some.
  741. >Inhale. Exhale.
  742. >You rise back up and walk over to your desk.
  743. >A bottle of Reman wine with a red ribbon and letter sits on it, to its' right is a glass.
  744. >The glass is clear, odd, no one has produced clear glasses in forever.
  745. >You sit down at the desk, removing the note from the wine and putting the two safely on the center of your yet-to-be-used cot.
  746. >You run a claw along your beak, smooth and cool to the touch, just like always.
  747. >With your other hand you clack your claw on the desk.
  748. >Across your desk is a twisted collage of twisted corpses, technical documents, and Anon's file still in its folder.
  749. >Though front and center are a bunch of Anon's photos from training.
  750. >You get a little flustered looking at some.
  751. >But the gore and hardware really make it less than enjoyable
  752. >"I don't get paid enough for this" you grumble before tidying up the desk.
  753. >After drafting up the special's lineup you send your planned idea to the editing department.
  754. >You hope to get a reply by tomorrow.
  755. >You look at the letter, the red wax seal of the Royal Court.
  756. >Leaving only a small pink discoloration on the manila envelope.
  757. >Inside is a handwritten letter.
  758. >Dear Ms. Yeomem,
  759. >It had come to my attention that you are in the care of a man from my homeland. For your troubles we have sent you two gifts, courtesy of the Court as of current, in the form of a bottle of wine native to your world and crystalline wine glass, a masterpiece of a young Anjekan Glazier working under an Italian master. Unfortunately, this is the extent of the gratitude I can send at the moment, the War is consuming most of my time.
  760. >Sincerely, Mr. Human
  761. >You shuffle over to your bed
  762. >grab the wine.
  763. >POP
  764. >Before you let your mind fully process the magnitude of this event you've already poured a glass of wine.
  765. >You let the sweet taste of the blue alcohol wash over your tongue tempting you to drink more.
  766. >You give in.
  767. >Soon you sit there hiccuping.
  768. >And now very, very horny.
  769. >After two more glasses of wine your hand had crept down to the edge of your pants.
  770. >You're still thinking but more so on two things, ensuring your ladylike modesty and being far from modest
  771. >You creep over to the door, and press the "do not disturb" button, the green light turning red.
  772. >First to the floor is your pants.
  773. >You rub one scaled finger over your burning intimacy gasping faintly.
  774. >You look up towards your desk, only to see a pick of Anon when he was younger.
  775. >You rise to grab the photo of him from training. Your finger never leaving the crevice in your panties.
  776. >The electric tings of pleasure stop you in your tracks causing your knees to bend inwards and eyes to roll back a little.
  777. >Two more quivering steps and you've fallen onto your cot, the restraint you once had gone.
  778. >Your scaled fingers force a movement of your hips, grinding and intensifying the erotic energy throughout your boy.
  779. >You set the image on the pillow so that Anon's eyes seem to be looking into yours.
  780. >Your hand is soaked in juices, your tongue bitten down on by your beak, your left breast cupped and squeezed in your other hand.
  781. >Each grind of your hips, every squeeze of your breast causes ever increasing electric lust.
  782. >Slowly you begin to moan, "A-Anon..."
  783. >At last you slide one dull-clawed finger inside, intensifying every lewd action
  784. >Your beak raises slowly towards the ceiling, saliva dripping from your beak as all you can think about is sweaty muscular Anon in 30 series uniform.
  785. >The way the under-suit grips to the muscles, the unbuttoned greatcoat leaving just enough room to imagine.
  786. >"Decadent..." Is all you can moan out as you imagine what you want him to do you.
  787. >As your mind begins to tingle you lose even more modesty.
  788. >As your hips take control for the last few moments it feels like your intimacy feels as if it is burning
  789. >You finally reach climax, falling forward you continue on instinct before falling out as the euphoria of the moment fades.
  790. >Your lone finger slides out with slick, the hand on your breast letting go.
  791. >Your foot-claws are fully tightened. twisting the bed sheets.
  792. >Your breathing is still heavy.
  793. >"Anon" is all you can say.
  794. >You roll over the other side of the cot, grabbing the heavier blanket.
  795. >You throw it over you and fall asleep.
  796. ><
  797. ><
  798. ><
  799. >The rest trip passes with little difference
  800. >Julia seems to be more relaxed but a bit embarrassed around you.
  801. >Turns out your regiment had killed the Falcon Doctor's brother, cousin, and first love all in one go.
  802. >Needless to say, when they listed off the names etched into the monuments of those the units' kills it caused quite the commotion.
  803. >The Sobs were unreal.
  804. >She didn't even know they were dead.
  805. >The next doctor was the previous one.
  806. >So rather uninterested with the who.
  807. >Practical and respectable.
  808. >As you near the destination you hear the PA come over the room "All right everyone, welcome to the Sol System, we will be arriving at the Mars Orbital Medical Complex in a few hours. Pack your belongings and prepare for departure."
  809. >You've been here before but not for treatment. It was for prisoner escort and wounded escort.
  810. >Nothing was worse than watching the less fortunate men of your Series pass while countless personnel and machines did their damnedest to keep them from doing so.
  811. >It was two weeks on the ship from Folcal Minor and one week on the MOMCOM.
  812. >You stood outside the bio-weapons development division's holding cells, but mainly just watched the News or caught up on T.V from earth.
  813. >Anything to drown out the screams, even through six feet of sealed titanium alloy you could still make them out.
  814. >Regardless, you won't be near that black asterisk in space, you'll be getting new eyes.
  815. >F U C K Y E A H is the only thing that shoots across your mind when you think about it.
  816. >You're rather giddy to be honest. The thought of seeing again is rather tantalizing.
  817. >Well everything apart from that damnable horseman and the vivid dreams.
  818. >The telltale creaking of metal alerts you to the activation of finely tuned air jets.
  819. >The end of the droning rumble and its replacement with a rapid shaking one means that the ship is decelerating.
  820. >After an hour or so a ring is felt throughout the ship, we've docked.
  821. >Another hour had passed, and the pressure has increase, and that anti-microbial smell has hit you.
  822. >After a few more minutes a nurse comes in.
  823. >"Hello Anon, we've already prepared a surgeon for you." The man happily says before wheeling you away.
  824. >"You should be very happy Mr. Anon, the Crown has enrolled you into a special test treatment, you'll still be getting ocular replacements but eventually your eyes should grow back. How cool is that!" He continues.
  825. >"Are you from the Midwest? " You ask amid your confusion on the intentions the Crown has for you.
  826. >"Kansan and Proud!" He beams.
  827. >After you leave the ship obvious by the intensifying anti-microbial smell, and the PA system welcoming us the nurse steps aside and you stop.
  828. >After a moment or so he wishes you farewell and tells you that a robot will be taking me to my operating room.
  829. >The automaton tells you details in a text-to-speech engine to make a 2008 flash game proud.
  830. >After going through a maze of turns and winding halls you arrive at your operating room with an electronic beep followed by the hum of magnetic lock.
  831. >Whirring can be heard as something lowers from the ceiling.
  832. >CLICK
  833. >A living voice can finally be heard.
  834. >"Be Calm Anon, the procedure will be required you be awake but you will feel no pain" Says a voice that can best be described a serpentine.
  835. >A prick can be felt in your neck as a minute amount of fluid is injected.
  836. >"This medical cocktail will deactivate your brain's pain receptors for a while as well as sedate your muscles."
  837. >No different than a combat stimulant.
  838. >You can feel nothing but tension and movement
  839. >In the breaks of the sounds of mechanical whirring you hear a deep, concentrated breathing.
  840. >Whispers of "Perfect, Hoooo..., and Oh God" can be occasionally heard over the hours.
  841. >After about a half hour you hear the sound of a stretched fiber being cut.
  842. After something is placed in your now empty right eye socket, then something else.
  843. >The process is repeated on what was your left eye.
  844. >Something else descends from the ceiling.
  845. >Right where your eyes were a series of clicks and whirs begin.
  846. >"The Operation is completes hooman, I will now be turning on your eyessssss."
  847. >A flash of light washes over your vision.
  848. >A spider-like medical robot is mere inches from your face, every tool looking equally painful
  849. >"Can you sssssssssssssee hooman?"
  850. >"Perfectly" You respond, astonished at being able to see again.
  851. >You had almost become comfortable with your blindness to be fair.
  852. >"Good, goooood." Says the serpentine surgeon.
  853. >You turn to look at him.
  854. >A four-armed snake, his elongated body is sprawled around him.
  855. >He turns to you, his hooded head coming into full view.
  856. >"No hooman, most among my kind only two arms." is all he says before turning away.
  857. >As if he forgot something he turns back around to say "Your legs will be fixed tomorrow, they after you will be taken off the medicine hassss prevented you muscles from atrophying. You should be cleared to leave here in a week." Then turns back around.
  858. >The grin you have spreads from ear to ear. You do that dumb yes thing with your arm in excitement.
  859. >After a few more minutes of the surgeon mulling about he walks over to a small tracked robot, slides a newly printed card into it then it springs to life.
  860. >It takes your hospital bed and wheels you out of the room. Down a hall and into a room.
  861. >Then it just leaves.
  862. >Alone and in the dark.
  863. >Ah well, at least you know its dark.
  864. >As the excitement wears off it becomes all but impossible to sleep.
  865. >Its like your eyelids are made of lead.
  866. >Like before you let the need for rest consume you.
  867. >The first half of the next day is another session of wide-eyed mechanical whirring, clicking, and implants.
  868. >Your right leg was cut is four places at the thigh and once in the calf.
  869. >Your left leg only received two cuts in the thigh while your calf got two.
  870. >After your unconscious meeting with the metal spiders. You were woken up only two see two enormous needles sticking out of your legs, injecting their sickly green cocktails.
  871. >Needless to say, you were rather exhausted after the whole ordeal.
  872. >All you could do was stand up and hobble around until the Serpent Surgeon pointed towards the door and hissed "Outs hooman." - Update 3 (I think?)
  873. >You barely make it to your bed before fall asleep.
  874. >Tick, tink, Tick, Tink
  875. >The sound of the metallic forces a quick prayer from you not quite asleep body.
  876. >He's here again.
  877. >"Hello Anon~" Chimes the entity behind you.
  878. >You turn your head to stare the being in the eyes.
  879. >He sits, old and young, atop his mechanical horse.
  880. >"Oh, you thought you were going mad?" he says sounding almost disappointed.
  881. >"A little" you murmur.
  882. >"I can't hold the beliefs the blind against him." He shrugs off.
  883. >"Now to the reason I'm here. You need to Earth, that is all." He states with a aura of overwhelming authority.
  884. >"Why do I need to go back to Earth?" You demand
  885. >"First off, your sister got married about a year ago to an Anjekan from the 70 Series, the poor boy is still out on the front but I think he'll live. Second off, you need some time away from this science-was-once-fiction world you're in, go for a walk, airfare is basically free at this point, see your world before you explore another." The entity suggests.
  886. >"My sister married an Anjekan?!" you exclaim
  887. >"What? Did you think she was a lesbian?" The horseman questions
  888. >"Kinda..." you whisper, a singe of shame in your voice.
  889. >"Ah well, the firstborn is due when the Halik Campaign is over." He says almost in passing
  890. >"How do you know all this?" You inquire
  891. >"I see all progress of all things; development, gestation, creation, even schemes. That is because I am them" He answers.
  892. >"I have gotten to my point Anon, say hi to Julia for me, farewell." He states before riding off at a trot.
  893. >Before he fully leaves your vision you fall asleep hunched over your bed.
  894. >There is no dream, just the blackness.
  895. >When you wake up there is no drone of an engine, no beeping of equipment, no distant machinegun fire or artillery.
  896. >It is just silent.
  897. >Which is something you cannot say you've ever truly heard.
  898. >You rise sore from head to toe.
  899. >Your face reels from the initial steps.
  900. >Not moving your legs for several weeks or maybe a few months at this point may be the cause.
  901. >That or the fact your legs until yesterday resembled a tube-shaped collection of bone fragments.
  902. >Hmmmm.
  903. >You wonder.
  904. >Regardless of your legs, you need to get up to speed.
  905. >Heh, legs and speed.
  906. >As you reach the first turn on the hallway you see a group of four men in white cloaks whispering among themselves.
  907. >To get down the hall you limp past them, them remaining silent the entire time.
  908. >One calls out as you prepare to move down the next asks "Are you Mr. Anon?"
  909. >"Yes, why do you ask?" you say concern dripping from the back half of your sentence.
  910. >"We have a question for you." Says the now visibly masked figure, revealing a pistol.
  911. >"Ask." You say, both coldly and concerned.
  912. >"Do you feel anything off with your ocular implants?" Asks another one of the cloaked figures.
  913. >"No. Why?" You ask with increasing inquisitiveness.
  914. >"Just ensuring the implants took well that's all." A different one of the figures responds with a disturbingly coolly.
  915. >The last of the four wishes you farewell before resuming the near-inaudible whispers of their conversation.
  916. >Unsettled you begin, you walk down the halls, while still in moderate pain.
  917. >A towering Equil nurse guides a Dracon on an ambulance sized stretcher while a small army of pusher droids drive the Dracon further.
  918. >You worm your way through the winding labyrinth of sterile-white surfaces and the less-than comfortable glow of UV and LED lights.
  919. >You pass all varieties of species, humans being the most numerous, but Korvan, Equil, Anjekans, Rats, and a myriad of bird species all in equal minority.
  920. >Cries of new life can be heard, after turning a corner, the hissing and beeping of the hallways of the wounded having ceased.
  921. >Singing mothers and cheering fathers.
  922. >You continue your search for wherever you are supposed to be.
  923. >After at least a dozen or so more turns the sheer size of the growing MOMCOM sets in.
  924. >The last time you came here it was little more than a silver dot above the green blistered planet of Mars.
  925. >At long last you come to a window.
  926. >What you see is more reminiscent of Earth than of Mars.
  927. >The once pockmarked surface now shows large swaths of green.
  928. >An ocean has formed somehow.
  929. >The red desert of Mars still wraps around the poles and to the tropics but after that it has been consumed by blue and green.
  930. >How in the name of God...
  931. >"HEY, YOU THERE!" Shouts an angered man.
  932. >Two black armored and armed figures are running towards you.
  933. >In a brief moment of reaction instinct took over.
  934. >You charge towards the two figures.
  935. >Fighting a year of reaction you force yourself to stop before slamming the smaller of the two figures.
  936. >"Sir, this is a restricted area, state your business or we will have to escort you away from this section.
  937. >Restricted area.
  938. >On the MOMCOM
  939. >That makes no sense.
  940. >Unless
  941. >"Did the Bio-Weapons Development Division connect with the main MOMCOM station?" unwittingly saying
  942. >Both of the armored figures freeze, giving you enough time to figure out what they are.
  943. >A human shorter than you, not saying much as you were always a taller fellow.
  944. >A Korvan of average height, his species revealed by his tail.
  945. >"How do you know about the BWDD?" The human says still astonished.
  946. >"After the Folcal Minor rebellion I came here to drop off a couple of captured Jeewol."
  947. >"You're 30 Series?" asks the Korvan.
  948. >"Formerly, until my eyes were gouged out and legs shattered on Rema."
  949. >"You were one of the people that escorted the Jeewol?" a newly calmed human asks.
  950. >"Yes, sorry if they won't stop screaming." You apologize.
  951. >"They can make noise?" the human questions.
  952. >"Jeewol in general or the prisoners?"
  953. >"Both" answers the Korvan.
  954. >"Jeewol can talk like any other race, that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone."
  955. >Both the Human and the Korvan take a step back.
  956. >"Good God" mumbles the Human.
  957. >"You said you were blinded, yes?" nervously asks the Korvan.
  958. >"Yes, and I am terribly lost." You answer, your concern growing in your voice.
  959. >"Hey, dude you stand guard, I'll escort this guy to the directory." The Korvan says to his buddy.
  960. >"Yeah, you do that." Says the human.
  961. >The walk back through seems guided by memory.
  962. >Each turn is known and familiar.
  963. >After about an hour of silence you arrive at a massive hollow space.
  964. >"Here you go Mister, go over to any of the desks and they should help you out." says the Korvan before vanishing into a crowd of blue and white uniforms.
  965. >In the center of the cylindrical hollow stands a behemoth of a man armored in silver detailed in bronze.
  966. >The presence of one of the million is both worrying and relieving.
  967. >No one dares go near the Imperial Scion, mainly out of fear.
  968. >You hurry toward one of the desks.
  969. >Then you feel its grip on your shoulder.
  970. >An armored hand shining in the light.
  971. >The menacing figure lets go of your shoulder and waves his hand to signal you to follow.
  972. >As if travelling in the wake of a great ship the crowded area breaks before the Scion like water around a rock.
  973. >Not a soul dares so much as touch a Scion.
  974. >You are guided into a separate room guarded by two of the Scion's retinue.
  975. >Inside is an Imperial Herald, a smaller Felid adorned in silk and gold.
  976. >The Scion closes the door and removes his helmet.
  977. >Long brown hair and a Mediterranean complexion.
  978. >You sit across from the Herald, in an eerie silence.
  979. >The Scion glares down at the Herald.
  980. >"No Scion, I demand respect, I demand a formal greeting." Snarks the Herald.
  981. >In the blink of an eye the Scion's blade rests silently just below the Herald's neck.
  982. >A voice from a room away can be heard.
  983. >"Sorry to do this to you Anon, but we needed to inspect this Herald's performance. And loyalty" The voice chilling you to the bone.
  984. >Turning the corner is another towering figure wearing a helmet adorned with a horned animal skull.
  985. >He walks over to you, sets a document in your lap before turning to glare at the Herald.
  986. >"Stand Anon, this meeting is over. My Scion shall take you to whom you owe your life."
  987. >As you stand to leave the Herald vomits onto the table.
  988. >The door is sealed behind you as the Scion leads you.
  989. ><
  990. ><
  991. ><
  992. >A single loud knock is heard on your door causing you to jump a little.
  993. >You approach the door cautiously, a strange energy about it.
  994. >With a hiss the sterile white of the door is replaced with the glow of silver.
  995. >You look up at the armored figure, a Scion.
  996. >He nods his head and leaves, revealing what was behind him.
  997. >Anon.
  998. >A pure joy takes hold as you lung towards Anon, wrapping your arms around his neck.
  999. >He grabs your legs and carries you back into the room using your toe-claw to seal the door shut.
  1000. >"Soooo Anon, how was meeting a Scion?" You joke.
  1001. >"A very, very talkative person to be sure." Anon replies, playful sarcasm dripping from his voice
  1002. >You rest your head on his shoulder.
  1003. >"This is nice." you whisper
  1004. >"Yeah" Anon whispers.
  1005. >You tighten your grip and Anon returns in kind.
  1006. >"I would kiss you but I have not the faintest clue how." Anon says, embarrassed.
  1007. >You lean up and lick his nose.
  1008. >Anon stands there in a glowing-eyed shock
  1009. >After a snort-like noise he breaks into a wholehearted laugh.
  1010. >After a moment of embarrassment you too break out laugh-cawing.
  1011. >Between fits of giggling Anon sets you down on the bed, he slinks down into the desk chair.
  1012. >For a moment he just looks tired and distant before a milder smile returns to his face.
  1013. >His lips mouth something before he looks up at something not quite there.
  1014. >He looks towards you and says, "Anything on your mind?"
  1015. >"No, not really" you lie.
  1016. >"Cool" is all he is able to stay before his head starts to bob towards sleep.
  1017. >You help him rise up and set him on the bed, the moment his head hits the pillow he falls asleep.
  1018. >Then you cuddle up beside him.
  1019. ><
  1020. ><
  1021. ><
  1022. >You dream of the front once again, but there is no more artillery, no hissing of aircraft, no cracks of gunfire.
  1023. >You crawl out from the trenches to see no corpses, no melee.
  1024. >Just an eerie calm, the four species of the 30 Series begin to trickle into no-man's-land, the Jeewol soon follow.
  1025. >The hisses of releasing CO2 from the gasmasks of both sides get faintly louder as each faction nears.
  1026. >The dream ends as the two forces meet each other, the first handshake
  1027. >And the dream ends.
  1028. >The soft glow the stations "night lighting" barely illuminates Julia's black sleeping shape, the clawed arm draped across your chest, the beak nuzzled on your shoulder
  1029. >Her breath is calm and warm against your neck.
  1030. >Calming in a way.
  1031. >You lay there wondering "How did I get here"? in a reflection sense.
  1032. >You took the stars full of hope, had it crushed in the grinding glacier of war, and lost you sight, had it restored and now you're here.
  1033. >Poetic
  1034. >Gotta write that down
  1035. >But now its time to enjoy the moment.
  1036. >You drift back to sleep
  1037. >No dreams this time
  1038. >The next time you wake up it is to the sensation of light pressure.
  1039. >You open your eyes to see Julia laying atop you, her arms placed on your shoulders, her breasts pressed ever so gently against your chest.
  1040. >"No speaking Anon, just let me enjoy the moment." She whispers sensing that you've woken up.
  1041. >You move your arms up and wrap them around her waist and pull slightly.
  1042. >"Hmmm, nice~" She hums into your ear as her grip on your shoulder tightens.
  1043. >You stay locked together in that embrace before a thunder knock sends Julia up like a rocket and diving to the ground in search of cover.
  1044. >You walk over to the door, pulling the open latch, to see the Scion from yesterday with an almost equally imposing woman of a similar complexion dawning similar armor.
  1045. >"The station can no longer support you two, we are to escort you two out of here." is said in the ice cold voice of the Scion.
  1046. >"Great special though Julia" Says the warmer but dominating voice of the woman.
  1047. >"What?" You manage to say through your shock.
  1048. >Julia shouts a "Thanks Maria!" from inside the room.
  1049. >You peer over to see her shoving two last outfits in a suitcase.
  1050. >"Wait you know this woman?" you call to Julia
  1051. >"Yeah, Yeah that Scion is her husband, She's an Amazon." She says almost as if it is casual.
  1052. >Well now you know Scions have bedroom lives.
  1053. >Please get that thought out now.
  1054. >"Do I have any luggage?"
  1055. >The Scion's cold attitude breaks the more jovial mood "You're wearing it trenchman, a new 30 Series uniform was shipped to Julia's condo planetside along with all your belongings in storage.
  1056. >"Hun, lighten up." pleads the Amazon.
  1057. >All she gets is a head shake.
  1058. >She returns in kind
  1059. >An audible click can be heard as Julia extends the handle of her suitcase.
  1060. >"Ready to go Maria! What dock are we headed to." Julia asks.
  1061. >"Seventeen me and Gael will take you there before saying our farewells." The Amazon says.
  1062. >Julia and Maria make small talk along the way to dock, while you and the Scion remain on obvious high alert.
  1063. >You note the presence of the white cloaked personnel in the corners of hallways and behind bends.
  1064. >The Scion seems to view them with a much more intense scrutiny.
  1065. >The Scion speaks "You are more vigilant than most of your Series that come here."
  1066. >"How so?"
  1067. >"You still see what is in front of you." Is all he says before resuming his silence.
  1068. >What.
  1069. >You press the thought to the back of your head before continuing forward.
  1070. >You really never considered the fates of your mates who didn't die within five minutes because of how few they were.
  1071. >After a few more minutes of walking through the winding halls of the hospital section you come to an area of people-moves and shops reminiscent of an airport back on Earth.
  1072. >You note an even wider variety of species wandering the shops compared to who was working the hospital.
  1073. >A group of Rakti Spiders walk by on six legs, one of which is a recent mother obvious by the four silk spinning little ones on her abdomen.
  1074. >Behind them are a pair of Kiliak Spiders, only on two legs, each holding a twin with one set of arms, two bags with another, while the last two arms either hold the other's hand or swing gently as they walk.
  1075. >Two families are at the play area, a family of foxes and the other of ferrets.
  1076. >The words "You know my eldest daughter married a Human?" can be heard from the ferret mother followed by a mock-disappointed "I won't be surprised if Geli joins as a number two." from the fox dad "Hey!" the Ferret mom protests as her husband starts to laugh.
  1077. >The Scion's neutral expression lightens into a small curve of his mouth.
  1078. >You reach the end of the massive area and into a hub of smaller passageways.
  1079. >You and the group walk up a spiraling walkway up to terminal 17.
  1080. >There Julia and Maria share a hug, you try to shake the Scion's hand, and then you wave the pair off.
  1081. >"Come Anon, ships to the Elevator leave every half hour." Julia says power walking herself towards the docking port.
  1082. >You almost have to jog to catch up.
  1083. >Once you make it there the waiting screen shines in big bold letters
  1084. >25 Minutes Until Next Shuttle.
  1085. >You can feel a bit of mild fury rise up in your chest before letting out a long sigh.
  1086. >Julia sits down at the nearby bench, her left eye twitching ever so slightly, arms crossed.
  1087. >"Off by five fucking minutes!" She hisses under her breath.
  1088. >She takes a deep breath before closing her eyes and calming down.
  1089. >"You okay?"
  1090. >"I just hate waiting." Julia says
  1091. >"Well, its not waiting if you use the time well."
  1092. >She chuckles "What? you wanna talk about my special?"
  1093. >"Sure, I was either blind or unconscious when it aired. I think."
  1094. >Your waned massively in that last bit and she felt it.
  1095. >"It aired two nights ago, you were not unconscious." She asserts.
  1096. >"True, sorry."
  1097. >"It went great, mainly thanks to the fact it proved humans to be empathetic creatures."
  1098. >"What?"
  1099. >"Wait, you don't know about the stereotypes surrounding humans?"
  1100. >"Absolutely not." You say astonished
  1101. >"The first humans the galaxy knew about came into focus when I was fourteen. That was the Mr. Human now the Founder, his million Scions and million Amazons waged their secret war. All of his soldiers from "Europe" those things are damn near indestructible. From that the first stereotype was made, that all humans were hulking, silent, battlefield masters and terrifyingly cunning."
  1102. >"I didn't even know of Mr. Human until about a year before the war started."
  1103. >"Oh, I know." Julia says matter-of-fact-ly.
  1104. >"During the war your kind took on a new face, not indestructible, but loyal and unrelenting, those that could do whatever asked. Your kind now shares that with the Anjekans." She says almost remorsefully.
  1105. >"I still have no idea what an Anjekan is to this day."
  1106. >"Literal angels, but with wings of all variety of colors, whites, browns, grays, blacks, even red." She says almost scholarly.
  1107. >You finally sit next to her, throwing your arm over her shoulder.
  1108. >"What on Earth are we gonna do?"
  1109. >"You act as if we're married, or on Earth." She says playfully.
  1110. >"Still, what am I gonna do once I'm at your place?" You ask.
  1111. >"Hopefully take me to dinner." She snickers.
  1112. >You open your mouth to comment and raise a finger before finding a distinct lack of rebuttal.
  1113. >Julia just smiles, it's hard to tell with the beak but you've got it now.
  1114. >You feel a bit of sadness.
  1115. >I guess you can take a man from the war, but not the war out of the man.
  1116. >"You okay Anon?" Julia says looking concerned.
  1117. >"Just thinking of old comrades, I can't really stop." You say without a lie for once.
  1118. >"Are they okay." She concernedly asks.
  1119. >"They passed, all of them." You say remembering the faces of all those who are lost.
  1120. >You look out the window, seeing a faint reflection of yourself.
  1121. >You and Julia aren't alone.
  1122. >The Brit is there too, his hand on your right shoulder.
  1123. >Sarge too, standing to the left of him.
  1124. >The lost Korvan ruffles your hair.
  1125. >Then they all die again.
  1126. >You go tense
  1127. >A Jeewol approaches from behind.
  1128. >You can feel your breath ramp up.
  1129. >That primal fear is back.
  1130. >You start instinctively looking for cover.
  1131. >Your arms lock into the way you used to hold your gun.
  1132. >You blink to see a broken land, it's the factory world Garova, wires hang from the ceiling, the smell of industry sinks into your lungs.
  1133. >You see the twisted shapes of the 0 Series operatives, the world's last Scion, his jaw hanging by a few strands of tissue crushing the head of a Jeewol, the compound eyes popping like berries in his fists before collapsing into muscle spasms.
  1134. >You no longer have your gun, you can't seem to find it.
  1135. >You feel a grip on your shoulder and ignore it.
  1136. >The grip turns into an embrace of a sort
  1137. >You left Garova.
  1138. >You were blind.
  1139. >You blink again to see the station.
  1140. >Julia looks panicked, a nearby family looks shaken.
  1141. >You notice Julia is holding you tightly.
  1142. >"What just happened?" She asks in fearful demand.
  1143. >"I was just on Garova, how did I get there?"
  1144. >"You never left the station." She states.
  1145. >The father of the nearby family approaches, he's one of those Anjekans Julia was speaking about.
  1146. >Wings of brown complement his blue suit.
  1147. >"Sir, what Series are you from?" He asks in a scholarly voice.
  1148. >"30, proper." You answer.
  1149. >"You got PTSD, honestly expected knowing your deployments." he replies in that cool examining voice.
  1150. >"I should've guessed!" Julia remarks.
  1151. >"What Series are you from Sir?" You ask.
  1152. >"70, though I served during the Silent Wars."
  1153. >"Dear do you know that man?" Calls the man's wife.
  1154. >"No, but he's a former soldier like me." He calls back.
  1155. >The Anjekan woman and her four kids all walk over, her wings grey speckled white.
  1156. >"So who are you two?" Julia asks cheerfully, her fearful demeanor seemingly faded.
  1157. >"Oh I'm Cato Alter and this is my wife Amaya, you?"
  1158. >"I'm Anonathan Incognitius." You answer
  1159. >"And your wife?" He inquires.
  1160. >"Wife?" you reply.
  1161. >Julia glares at you for a second.
  1162. >The realization hits you like a slap.
  1163. >"Oh! That's Julia Yeomem, we aren't married, I actually haven't the faintest clue where we are." You say
  1164. >Ah is all he says before he makes the smuggest face you've ever seen.
  1165. >The four of you make small talk regarding the war, how to deal with PTSD, and life in general for roughly 15 or so minutes.
  1166. >"You can control it Anon, just make sure it doesn't control you." Is his final words on the matter.
  1167. >The ride to the space elevator is awe inspiring.
  1168. >You find yourself gazing out onto the planet's almost organic mixture of industry, wildlife, and agriculture from orbit.
  1169. >Once you get to the elevator you and Julia part ways with the Alters, exchanging a healthy handshake with the adults and enough waving to land an aircraft with the kids.
  1170. >The decent is incredible.
  1171. >You stare as more and more details come into full view though strangest of all is rivers that flow in some areas.
  1172. >Its a grid-like delta, entering an island dotted ocean.
  1173. >The cities are not in bubbles anymore, a change from a year ago.
  1174. >As you reach the surface you notice even Julia is fascinated by the surrounding planet.
  1175. >As the roads and railways begin to become noticeable you find an odd shimmer around the green-topped buildings.
  1176. >A parade is going on in a nearby town indicated by the flower-like colors of its streets.
  1177. >People come into view, first as pinpricks, then as little lines, and finally a whole person.
  1178. >The landing area is a ways from the nearest settlement, maybe two or three miles.
  1179. >The doors without a hiss, as they had already been pressurized to the surface.
  1180. >Well according to the screen inside at least.
  1181. >The pressure in your ears tells a different story though.
  1182. >A large yawn and your ears popping like a dozen packages of pop-rocks confirms your suspicion.
  1183. >Before you shut your mouth again Julia snatches your hand and her claw and pulls you out of the elevator pod.
  1184. >"C'mon Anon, I am starving, and home is like a half hour away." She says not even trying to face you.
  1185. >After the feathery tugboat of woman pulls you from the elevator you take a deep breath of Martian air.
  1186. >It seems metallic. Like the smell of a scrapyard after rain.
  1187. >I would say you talked about galactic politics, but it was mainly Julia ranting about dealing with politicians from the Ancie Hegemony, and the Hori, of which is ruled by two "cults" one of passion, one of reason.
  1188. >That and she apparently is a Sentillian Nationalist, of which the company she works for is not.
  1189. >"That prick Yel-Elo thinks he can get away with anything I swear. Once he groped down a human chick and tried to take her lover to court after he showed up and threatened him? HR was up his ass for a year and what does he do? He continues to grope interns. I swear some human or ancie is gonna shoot him one day." She rants on.
  1190. >"Who's Yel-Elo?" You ask nervously
  1191. >"My boss is older than your civilization." She says, still tilted.
  1192. >You chuckle after she says "Those damned politicians get nothing done! They just try to erase each other's laws all the damned time."
  1193. >"What's so funny?!" She barks.
  1194. >"You just summed old Earth's politics?" You laugh.
  1195. >"Wait seriously?" She says with shock.
  1196. >"Yep, looks up the U.S's politics." You continue.
  1197. >"You better not be joking." She says before activation her hologram watch.
  1198. >After watching a 15 minute not-Youtube video on the politics of the old U.S Julia just stops, dead in her tracks.
  1199. >"People actually could stand that?" She asks concerned.
  1200. >"Oh hell no! My generation made Civil War 2 jokes left, right, and center." You cheerily.
  1201. >"Civil? War?" Julia asks inquisitively.
  1202. >"Two groups in a nation too centralized to be a rebellion, and too large to be a revolution." You explain.
  1203. >"Weird" Is all Julia says.
  1204. >If your conversations with Julia represent anything about the galaxy at large its' that war, for whatever reason, is extremely rare and when it does hit it really isn't that bad.
  1205. >Even back in the trenches the other races thought war was something rare and glorious.
  1206. >That may explain why their minds broke before their bodies.
  1207. >Julia has started to listen to music evident by the more rhythmic movements of her body.
  1208. >A more pronounced sway of her hips, flaunting a tight butt, and nice legs.
  1209. >Thank God for short-shorts.
  1210. >Julia weaves her way through the town's streets.
  1211. >Left.
  1212. >Right.
  1213. >Left, left, right, right, center, left.
  1214. >Rows of dutch-style houses pressed against each other mark the town center, the smells of bakeries, cafes, and smoke fill the area.
  1215. >Julia turns to you tapping her watch.
  1216. >"Sorry if you wanted to go home first, I'm starving so I thought we could get lunch first." She says cheerfully.
  1217. >After a moment of silence she speaks again "...If that's okay with you?
  1218. >"Yeah, yes, sorry I'm so used to not having to answer things." You say tripping over your words.
  1219. >She guides you to a small cafe on the left side of the square. A small Danish flag hanging over the door.
  1220. >"Hej Julia!" Calls a distinctively Scandinavian man "And I see you brought en Man!" he follows joyful.
  1221. >"Christian! Sorry I've been offworld for so long!" Julia cheerfully says.
  1222. >Christian is an older block of a man, an inch or so shorter than you but almost twice as broad in the shoulders, he looks like a retired fisherman or lumberjack.
  1223. >What hair is left on his head melds with the snow-white of his beard.
  1224. >"So what can Jeg get you two for midday meal?" He asks confidently.
  1225. >Julia picks two sandwiches from the menu "Two leverpostej fur Julia, og fur du?"
  1226. >"Oh I'm Anon."
  1227. >"Anon? really?" He says.
  1228. >"Seriously my parents named me Anonathan, so Anon for short."
  1229. >"I hope your sibling have less stupid names." He laughs.
  1230. >"Nah, we Incognitius's all got weird names, we got Nobrody, Unsean, and Nonexistcadence, just to name a few."
  1231. >Christian breaks into a Santa laugh.
  1232. >"And what will you be having Mr. "Incognitius"?" He chuckles.
  1233. >"One egg and herring, and one of whatever Julia's having." You say grinning from ear to ear.
  1234. >"Julia whatcha ya wanna drink?" You ask.
  1235. >"A Coffee" She says.
  1236. >"Got it, and for you Anon?" asks Christian.
  1237. >"A Coke I guess?"
  1238. >"That'll be 14 and a half Crowns."
  1239. >Julia tries to get up to pay but you're too quick, he's taken your bill.
  1240. >He hands you back a five crown note and four scepters and "Enjoy your meal, the weather is fantastic."
  1241. ><
  1242. ><
  1243. ><
  1244. >You and Anon head to a table for two just outside the shop.
  1245. >You're the one holding the door for once.
  1246. >He sets down the tray before you're able to sit, and pulls out your chair.
  1247. >That is so weird. Is it some sort of human custom?
  1248. >"C'mon sit." Anon beckons.
  1249. >You sit down in the chair, and he pushes you forward.
  1250. >It's nice but why?
  1251. >"Why did you do that?"
  1252. >Anon just stares.
  1253. >"Manners." Is all he says before seating himself.
  1254. >This is your first dining experience with a human proper.
  1255. >He pours the bottle of "Coke" into the cup Christian gave him, only about three quarters full.
  1256. >You dig in bringing the sandwiches to your mouth and using your beak to take bites out, like every other Avian.
  1257. >He uses the utensils to do so, cutting pieces and using the fork to bring them to his mouth.
  1258. >But why?
  1259. >Everything about his manner is different while eating, his back never touches the rest, his hands never go below the table, and his elbows never touch the table either.
  1260. >It seems formal, regal in a sense.
  1261. >"Why are you being so formal?" You finally ask, the aura finally breaking you.
  1262. >"I'm not." He says plainly.
  1263. >"Then why do you look so unnatural?" You ask in retort.
  1264. >"Manners and formalities are different."
  1265. >"No they aren't" you protest.
  1266. >"Wrong" He says in an annoyed tone
  1267. >"What's the difference?" You demand.
  1268. >"Manners are expected, the natural step up from simply getting food in your mouth, formalities, however are more than manners, fancier for a nicer situation." He lectures
  1269. >"Example." You demand in a harsher tone
  1270. >"Manners for your mother, formalities for a foreigner dignitary." He provides plainly.
  1271. >"Alright, it's still strange to me."
  1272. >Anon seems puzzled, before setting down his utensils.
  1273. >He seems abnormally tense about eating with his hands, but after the first bite he seems to relax.
  1274. >He sighs before taking another, the bodily tension gone.
  1275. >You decide to bring up the next topic of conversation.
  1276. >"So, where do you go from here?"
  1277. >Anon takes a bite of his next sandwich, looks to his left, his right, swallows.
  1278. >"No idea, I haven't figured out what to do."
  1279. >You are both relieved and concerned.
  1280. >Relieved at the lack of a lover, concerned about a lack of a career.
  1281. >"What did you do before you were drafted?" You ask.
  1282. >"I was the navigator aboard a ship, it was pretty easy work." He answers, fondly remembering something.
  1283. >"Really? Those jobs pay really well." You say.
  1284. >"It was just a lot of map checking, yeah generally I'd have to do minor course adjustments here and there but the ship's computer did most of the work." He explains.
  1285. >F U C K I N G R A D
  1286. >Anon is a walking fantasy at this point.
  1287. >Two uniforms and a suit.
  1288. >Muscular
  1289. >And not an asshole
  1290. >If he was more receptive or you were more aggressive you wouldn't be such a fucking virgin.
  1291. >The only downside is his PTSD. Of which you need to look into.
  1292. >Ah well, you need to drag yourself back planetside and him home.
  1293. >"What kind of job are you interested in?" You ask a closing question.
  1294. >"Actually I'm going to be going to school, the Empire promised land and an education to all 30 Series vets who survived." He says
  1295. >What
  1296. >Your shock is worn on your face, as he asks what's wrong.
  1297. >"I'd just never heard of that." You answer your beak never quite closing.
  1298. >"Yeah I'm gonna try to finish engineering school." He says cheerfully
  1299. >"You never finished?" You ask
  1300. >"Ran out of money, so with the AA I did have I started to work for Maersk." He answers.
  1301. >"Maersk?" You ask again.
  1302. >"Shipping company." He answers unphased.
  1303. >"Were you the captain?"
  1304. >"No, I maintained the engines first before moving up to being the navigator."
  1305. >"Uniform?"
  1306. >"Only in port."
  1307. >3 Uniforms
  1308. >Mhmmmm
  1309. >You ask one final question
  1310. >Not understanding the social cues around it
  1311. >"How much did these jobs pay?"
  1312. >Anon places his hand on his face and begins to mumble the only words that you can hear "How rude...not Earth...Like Women and weight...Salary..."
  1313. >"Did I do something wrong?" You say, brow furrowed and anxious.
  1314. >"Just old Earth social norms, you just asked the rudest thing you could to a man." He answers
  1315. >"Sorry...But what's the rudest thing you could ask a woman?" You ask curiously
  1316. >"Her weight." He states, like a fact.
  1317. >"A hundred and twenty American pounds." You state in the same tone.
  1318. >"I would ask if you were made of feathers but..." He says jokingly.
  1319. >"The answer to your question, in no particular order is 45,000 Euros, 390,000 Crowns, and 59,600 Crowns." He Answers.
  1320. >"How long did you work as a navigator?"
  1321. >"'Bout a year and half."
  1322. >"Did you ever stay in port or anything? Like what worlds did you see?" You almost plead.
  1323. >"The first and last time I did that a race riot occurred on a planet. Unrelated but still... It gets to you." He answers, going quiet for a few seconds.
  1324. >He hasn't seen the galaxy, well not it at peace.
  1325. >He looks as if he is lamenting something, something deeply personal.
  1326. >"We'll see the galaxy, the parts you haven't seen, the not ruined parts." You try to console.
  1327. >"I'd hope." He says the sadness leaving him.
  1328. >You know something happened to him but now is not the time to ask.
  1329. >"Holy shit!" Anon exclaims.
  1330. >"What?" You ask nervously
  1331. >"This is the first real meal I've eaten with new eyes!" He continues.
  1332. >"I guess?" You follow up.
  1333. >You think back to what you've eaten, some meal bars and other snacks.
  1334. >He's right.
  1335. >You hadn't even considered that.
  1336. >Weird.
  1337. >While you were lost in thought Anon had returned the plates, utensils, and cups all in one go.
  1338. >He has proven to be very peculiar, but in a good way.
  1339. >Though he also seems very high strung, almost on guard every moment.
  1340. >You need to find out way
  1341. >If not for personal reasons than just to prove you've got this whole reporter shtick after a long vacation to yourself.
  1342. >Anon now turns onto you.
  1343. >"You work as a reporter, right?" He asks
  1344. >He takes your hand and pulls you to your feet, overdoing the force resulting in you crashing into his chest.
  1345. >You wrap your arms around him
  1346. >He whispers "Your tired ain't ya."
  1347. >He lifts you up and begins to carry you as you walk out of the town near-empty town square.
  1348. >As soon as you reach the next intersection he stops, looks around, and realizes something.
  1349. >He then lifts you higher, placing you on his shoulders.
  1350. >"Where to?" He asks.
  1351. >You giggle, "Go left and go down seven houses."
  1352. >"Left or right side?"
  1353. >"Right."
  1354. >You're anxious, you really have no reason to be.
  1355. >Even Anon seems abnormally sharp.
  1356. >The silence breaks
  1357. >"Something isn't right" He says coldly
  1358. >When you get to the house he sets you down
  1359. >The door was wide open
  1360. >"Stay here." Anon orders.
  1361. >He silently slinks into the house.
  1362. >After checking through the main rooms he beckons you inside.
  1363. >You creep up the walkway, dread filling you.
  1364. >Anon stands there calm seemingly with a chef's knife in his hand.
  1365. >You stand in the living room as he prowls every room.
  1366. >A scream then a black mass flies from the bedroom
  1367. >It tries to scamper from Anon but he's much too quick and precise.
  1368. >Its back foot is caught in Anon's iron grip.
  1369. >Anon drags the mass to the wall before grabbing its neck with one had and grabbing the knife with the other.
  1370. >NO..Please...I didn't...Wasn't...hurt it tries to choke out.
  1371. >You get involved
  1372. >"Anon! What are you doing." You cry out
  1373. >Anon's knife rests on the thing's neck.
  1374. >Anon turns before going back to trying to end whatever was in your house.
  1375. >You grab his shoulder with a claw to try to get his attention and he shrugs you off.
  1376. >After raising the knife to kill the thing he hesitates and drops the knife.
  1377. >"Who are you?" He demands, his voice like a murderous glacier.
  1378. >"Cal... Cal Brevois" It chokes out.
  1379. >Anon drops him to the ground.
  1380. >Why the fuck is he here?
  1381. >Cal left you soon after your homeworld was rendered lifeless.
  1382. >You were together for like three months tops
  1383. >The two of you didn't even get physical, from the fact he was a nervous wreck your strick parents.
  1384. >Just like every other one, but he wasn't a massive asshole.
  1385. >Well he was unique in his compassion.
  1386. >He tries to crawl away before Anon kicks him his gut
  1387. >He buckles over
  1388. >Anon stares down with murderous intent.
  1389. >Anon's blood-lust subsides in the next moment.
  1390. >Cal looks up to him as if he's a demon or something.
  1391. >Cal turns to you next
  1392. >"So how have you been since school?" He asks, almost begging.
  1393. >"Good, I've been a reporter for two years now." You say warmly.
  1394. >"And the human?" He asks next confused
  1395. >"I saved his life and traveled from Rema to Mars to be by him." You say warmly again.
  1396. >"Weird. Your parents said that you wanted to see me." He says
  1397. >Anon moves away from Cal as he stands up, shedding most of his coldness with it.
  1398. >PTSD and the 30 Series is a scary combo.
  1399. >"Sorry" He says in passing.
  1400. >"It's okay" Cal says fearfully looking up at Anon.
  1401. >"So 'Cal' how did you get in here?" Anon says like an inquisitor.
  1402. >Cal stutters out "H-Her pa-pare-parents ga-gave me a-a key."
  1403. >"Oh" Is all Anon says.
  1404. >Cal sits on the couch and lets out a nervous sigh.
  1405. >"What's your deal man? I was washing my hands?" Cal says
  1406. >"Old habits from the trenches, sorry." Anon says still icy
  1407. >"Oh, you were 30 Series, sorry man." Cal say looking down.
  1408. >He both guys seem tense, but Anon is going back to a more "civilian" state and Cal's anxiety is going down.
  1409. >Anon takes a deep breath "Sorry I overreacted Cal..." His muscles tense up before he continues "...I should've asked who you were first."
  1410. >Cal seems nervous still.
  1411. >After a time in silence Anon goes to the restroom and Cal quietly makes himself scarce.
  1412. >Goddammit
  1413. >Anon likely just won you a screaming phone-call and a less-than-welcome weekend visit.
  1414. >Anon comes out a minute or so later his face glistening with water.
  1415. >"What the fuck just happened?" He says
  1416. >"You almost killed an ex my parents liked." You say sternly crossing your arms
  1417. >"Shit." He says looking around the room.
  1418. >"His name was Cal right?" He asks still gazing
  1419. >"Yes" You say still rather frustrated.
  1420. >"I owe him a drink." He says snapping from his staring.
  1421. >With that he rushes from the house
  1422. ><
  1423. ><
  1424. ><
  1425. >That was a fucking disaster
  1426. >Like a steaming mountain of pig shit level disaster
  1427. >All you saw was a Jeewol.
  1428. >You need to get this shit under control
  1429. >And liquor isn't an option
  1430. >Maybe therapy?
  1431. >And you passed him.
  1432. >"Cal! Sorry about trying to kill you!" You shout
  1433. >"What do you want Anon?" Cal sulks.
  1434. >"To buy you a I'm-really-sorry-I-tried-to-kill-you-drinks!" You say
  1435. >"Sure" He says still sounding down
  1436. >To be fair you would be too if a dude threw you down a hall and nearly killed you.
  1437. >You put a hand on his shoulder "Hey man do you any bars in the area?" You ask nervously
  1438. >"Follow" He says
  1439. >After winding through the streets he guides you to what appears to be a house with a patio
  1440. >You get the door for him.
  1441. >He walks to the bar where a busty cow is leaning on the counter "Not feeling too hot, eh?"
  1442. >Cal just nods.
  1443. >"I'll be taking his tab." You say
  1444. >"Lady issues?" She asks Cal
  1445. >"Nah, he tried to kill me. Now he's saying sorry" Cal says with a not-quite-smile on his face
  1446. >The cow lady begins to wide-eyed-ly pour a mug of beer,
  1447. >"On the house" She says turning around to quickly tend to another patron
  1448. >You sit down next to Cal as the Cow turn around to tend to you
  1449. >"So, uh, Beer?" She asks nervously
  1450. >"The local kind if there is one."
  1451. >"One New Houston coming right up." She cheers with a bit of anxiety seeping into her speech.
  1452. >You get your mug and take a long drink before turning to Cal.
  1453. >"Before I ask anything else, you need an apology snack?"
  1454. >"On-i-on r-ings" He solemnly sings.
  1455. >"Uh Miss? Do y'all got onion rings?"
  1456. >"You can call me Gen and yes!" She says
  1457. >"One large order please."
  1458. >"Coming right up." She says
  1459. >"Aye! HALOK! Large Rings!" She calls out.
  1460. >Cal's eyes widen as he sees her flank.
  1461. >"She's cute" Cal says.
  1462. >So Cal's an ass man.
  1463. >Patrician taste.
  1464. >He begins to drink like a fish.
  1465. >Each time he orders he flirts a little harder.
  1466. >Hours pass and you're both hammered and Cal is flirting to a very receptive cow bartender.
  1467. >The place is nearly empty bar with a small herd of sheep in one corner needing occasional pitchers.
  1468. >You and Cal have been chatting and as the drinks have poured so has the honesty
  1469. >He never served in the series but after he and Julia's homeworld was "cleansed of life"
  1470. >You realized that neither of them know what happened, or have ever said the name of the planet.
  1471. >Before you can really focus on that a statement shattered your line of thought
  1472. >"Coming here was a mistake."
  1473. >You turn to face Cal who wears a saddened smile.
  1474. >"I came here to try to reconnect with Julia because her parents said she would like it." He continues.
  1475. >"Then you, and now I'm here." he finished.
  1476. >"Two whiskeys, JD if you've got it." You drunkenly ask
  1477. >"Two Danny's coming right up." The cow says cheerfully.
  1478. >Two iced cups slap against the counter and Cal just looks at you and then to the cow girl.
  1479. >"C-ca-can I-I g-get a num-numb-number?" He drunkly and nervously stutters.
  1480. >After saying that he falls from his stool and falls asleep.
  1481. >"I take it you'll take care of him?" Gen asks.
  1482. >"Not unless you wanna take him home." You say suggestively
  1483. >"With pleasure" Gen says biting her lip.
  1484. >"HALOK, JESI! You're closing tonight, the keys are in the back." She calls to the kitchen.
  1485. >She then walks out from behind the bar, throws Cal over her shoulder and walks out with a pep in her step.
  1486. >She then stops cold in her tracks, turns and says "That'll be a hundred and twenty for the evening."
  1487. >You hand her six twenties and a ten and say "Enjoy your tip."
  1488. >"'till Mornin' humie" She says
  1489. >"You can call me Anon." You say.
  1490. >With that out of the way you finish your whiskey and make your way out.
  1491. >You walk down the streets, into a barren bit of land.
  1492. >You claw out a shallow grave.
  1493. >And go to sleep.
  1494. >...
  1495. >A bright light wakes you.
  1496. >"Sir why are you sleeping in a grave?" says a voice
  1497. >What, this isn't a grave
  1498. >"What grave are you talking about?"
  1499. >"The one you're lying in" The voice says sounding almost annoyed
  1500. >"Sir this is an arty bed." You say
  1501. >"Arty bed?" The voice questions almost confused.
  1502. >"You know, the arty is slammin' the Jee and you need a napper." You say more than a bit hungover.
  1503. >"Arty? Jee? The hell you on?" Say the voice.
  1504. >"Nothin' Sir but me and a lad got shitfaced last night and I just got out of the 30." You say a pounding headache beginning to throb in the center of your head.
  1505. >"Just got out of the 30 humie? Yeah you and I are going to the station." He says before ripping you from your arty bed.
  1506. >The light is blinding and you see a very, very smug looking Folcal staring at 'cha.
  1507. >He throws in the back of some kinda car before sarcastically yelling "Hope you're comfy humie."
  1508. >You sit in the back of the cruiser as the cop laughs his way all the way to the station.
  1509. >Once you get there you can see two more cops facepalm as he marches you out.
  1510. >He's grinning from ear-to-ear.
  1511. >As you pass the doors you see the secretary shake her head.
  1512. >You get the feeling this guy isn't the best cop.
  1513. >He walks you into intake as his boss walks in.
  1514. >"Lany, you're fired." He says.
  1515. >The color leaves his face.
  1516. >"He's a human he is bound to commit some crime." He protests.
  1517. >"This world is 90% human." the boss says.
  1518. >"So?" He demands.
  1519. >"So? That guy looks like he got out of the service not too long ago, just look at his eyes." The boss says.
  1520. >"And?" He questions
  1521. >"AND?" the boss shouts.
  1522. >"Look, you've got so many complaints against you it would take a month to list them all out, but to name the ones that got you fired I'll do you that. First, you enforce old Folcal law not Imperial, you are known to be prejudiced against humans, and lastly you hate returning soldiers to their own homeworld. To be entirely honest if an inquisitor were to inspect our force you'd be the first of the force to be shot."
  1523. >"What about me sir?" You ask.
  1524. >The boss turns to the Folcal officer "What was he doing?" he demands
  1525. >"Sleeping in a self-dug shallow grave." He smugly says.
  1526. >He turns to you "You ex-30 Series?" He asks annoyed
  1527. >"Yes sir." You comply
  1528. >"Lany, he was probably drunk off his ass last night and didn't want to disturb anyone." He says disappointed.
  1529. >"Sir! He was trespassing!" Lany Protests.
  1530. >"Lany, give me your badge and gun. Now." The boss demands.
  1531. >"I have done nothing wrong!" Lany shouts.
  1532. >"Sir is he still an officer?" You ask curiously
  1533. >"No." He says.
  1534. >Taking that as permission you slam Lany into a wall, proceeding to headbutt the back of his head.
  1535. >The boss looks startled as Lany's unconscious form begins to fall to the floor.
  1536. >"And what do you think you're doing?" He asks curiously
  1537. >"Making a citizen's arrest." You say.
  1538. >"Alright, let me get those cuffs off, you're free to go." He says.
  1539. >With a clink you're free.
  1540. >"Can I get a ride home?"
  1541. >"Eh sure" the boss says.
  1542. >The ride home is silent apart from the officer stopping to ask what you want to eat for breakfast.
  1543. >You arrive at Julia's with a Mickey Dee's bag with three hash browns and a large coke zero.
  1544. >"Stay out of trouble man." The boss cop says as his farewell.
  1545. >You see Julia looking out of the window with a look of fear and shock on her face.
  1546. >You stride up to the door for two clicks to be heard and the door swings open.
  1547. >"What the hell happened last night?" She quietly demands.
  1548. >"Me and Cal got shitfaced, a cute cow took him home, and I dug me an arty bed."
  1549. >She leans her neck in and blinks twice.
  1550. >"You. Got. Cal. Laid." She says.
  1551. >"Yes!"
  1552. >"And then you got arrested?" She asks
  1553. >"No, I went to sleep first."
  1554. >She places a claw to her forehead.
  1555. >"I'm gonna need to sit down." Julia says wide-eyed.
  1556. ><
  1557. ><
  1558. ><
  1559. >This is getting a little too much for a first night.
  1560. >You wanted to relax, watch a movie, maybe go out again with Anonathan.
  1561. >No, instead he got your ex laid at a bar, got so drunk he dug an "arty bed" and got arrested.
  1562. >What an absolute let down.
  1563. >The grumble of your stomach reminds you that breakfast has yet to be eaten.
  1564. >You look over to Anon who is sitting on the floor with a soda and what seems to be a huge tater tot
  1565. >Where the hell did he get that?
  1566. >Your claws tighten, scraping the carpet a bit as you walk into the kitchen.
  1567. >You dig through the fridge to find cheese in a milk carton, pickles, and what appears to be topsoil in a costco box
  1568. >Truly, a fine set of inedible once ingredients
  1569. >The pantry bears even less prospect, a half-empty flour jar, rice, and cake mix.
  1570. >You want cake
  1571. >Anon seems to have produced another large tater tot from his bag.
  1572. >Holy hell does it smell good.
  1573. >He turns to look at you, like a finch staring at a cracker.
  1574. >Soon another massive tater tot is produced.
  1575. >"You want hashbrown?" Anon says as if addressing a pet.
  1576. >"Yes"
  1577. >"Then come and get it" he says before getting up
  1578. >That light brown fried goodie is gonna be yours
  1579. >Just as your hand reaches the "hashbrown" in Anon's hand he swipes it away.
  1580. >You look up to him like a puppy denied their favorite toy
  1581. >He's grinning like a mischievous cretin before dashing out of the back door, the door left slightly ajar from his sudden and unexpected burst of speed.
  1582. >God Dammit.
  1583. >You follow at equal pace to see Anon running towards the canyon.
  1584. >The "hashbrown" is in his hand.
  1585. >You will have your prize.
  1586. >You sprint after Anon, your lighter frame and keener eyes giving you a distinct edge in agility.
  1587. >Anon has the stamina and form but he seems to be slower.
  1588. >Good.
  1589. >Less time between me and breakfast.
  1590. >The chase continues for just a little while longer, Anon abruptly coming to a stop to catch his breath.
  1591. >As he is recovering you snatch the hash brown from his hands with a simple pluck.
  1592. >The thing is crunchy with a soft interior, like the oil seared Nebver back when your homeworld still held life.
  1593. >Home.
  1594. >The forest returns to your mind, the memories of the planet, of your hometown.
  1595. >How many generations had lived on that planet?
  1596. >It doesn't matter anymore does it?
  1597. >"You okay?" Anon asks
  1598. >"I'm just a bit hungry." You lie.
  1599. >"How does "I miss home" come from "I'm hungry" Anon asks half jokingly.
  1600. >Wait.
  1601. >What.
  1602. >"Oh no..." You say trailing off.
  1603. >You couldn't keep your thoughts out of your head.
  1604. >fuuuuuuuuccckkkkkk mmeeeeeee.
  1605. >Please actually.
  1606. >But not in the field.
  1607. >Anon looks at you as if you're going mad.
  1608. >"What?" You ask.
  1609. >"You trying to use the force or something Julia." Anon laughs.
  1610. >"Just needed to think about something." You respond with faux prude.
  1611. >Thank God he can't read thoughts.
  1612. >Whew.
  1613. >That means that Sutzi was wrong.
  1614. >Heh.
  1615. >You jolt a bit as Anon places a hand on your shoulder and pulls you close.
  1616. >"Ain't it prudy?" He says a drawl of some sort in his voice.
  1617. >No more words are exchanged, the only noise is that of the rushing of the spring winds through the fields.
  1618. >Anon is warm, his arms are strong but he seems oddly distant for how close he holds you.
  1619. >You turn to look him in the eye.
  1620. >A single tear is in his right eye, gently illuminated by the artificial eyes in the sockets.
  1621. >"Hey what's wrong?" You ask earnest concern dripping from each word.
  1622. >He turns to you, and asks a simple question.
  1623. >"Tell me what this place really looks like. I do not trust my new eyes."
  1624. >You are slightly taken aback.
  1625. >"W-why?" You protest.
  1626. >"Just to sooth my nerves." He replies before returning to his thousand yard stare.
  1627. >"Well the red mountains look like they have beautiful patterns carved into them, the flowers in the field are every color imaginable with purple and white being the most common by a slim margin." You say with a tad of scholasticism in your voice
  1628. >"Everything I see up close has the slightest green hue, I didn't notice it at first, but I'd never seen a daisy with a hint of green before." Anon explains
  1629. >"So the flowers are called daisies?" You ask.
  1630. >You had always wondered what the flowers were but you were never on Mars long enough to buy a book on them.
  1631. >"Yeah, Daisies, the name Daisy is in reference to a singular flower, my little brother was an amateur botanist and he'd bring home all sorts of flowers." Anon says, seeming to find comfort in the memory.
  1632. >"Huh." You say remembering the Bivone wet nurse of the same name on Rema.
  1633. "It'd be funny to see a big tiddy Bivone with that name." Anon says with a chuckle.
  1634. >If your face didn't have feathers you would've lost all color.
  1635. >Maybe humans subconsciously read minds.
  1636. >You're gonna try to test if it's a coincidence or not.
  1637. >"Why?" You ask, hiding the inquisitorial aspect of your tone.
  1638. >"Cause Borden Milk's mascot is a cow" He says.
  1639. >Seeing you are still clearly confused he speaks once more.
  1640. >"Named Daisy." He finishes
  1641. >"Why would that be funny?" You ask.
  1642. >"Big tits can be called cow tits, or milkers. Most milk is from cows. It makes sense..." He says.
  1643. >"...I think" He follows.
  1644. >That.
  1645. >That's fucking dumb.
  1646. >Like what the fuck.
  1647. >That's some next level mental gymnastics.
  1648. >"Is that some kind of inside joke I'm not part of?" You ask.
  1649. >"You could say it's, *only human*" he says.
  1650. >Then winks.
  1651. >Goddammit.
  1652. >"Why are you like this?" You demand with a sigh.
  1653. >"Not sure really. I was calm and collected at one point, but I don't have a spaceship, to my knowledge at least." He says.
  1654. >"What changed?" You ask, concerned.
  1655. >"Four years and two eyes I guess." He says resuming his gaze unto the mountains.
  1656. >"What happened really during all that time, I've heard some of your stories but I feel like there's a lot missing." You respond.
  1657. >"I... I really don't wish to speak of my service in depth." He responds, as if carefully choosing his words.
  1658. >You can respect that.
  1659. >For now.
  1660. >"Hey, Julia, what's being an interstellar reporter like?" Anon asks.
  1661. >That catches you off guard.
  1662. >You look at him and stare.
  1663. >And stare.
  1664. >~stare~
  1665. >"You okay Julia?" Anon asks with a raised eyebrow.
  1666. >"Ah-uh, yeah, just zoned out a bit." You say.
  1667. >"Ah" He says as if a great revelation has overcome him.
  1668. >"Well I guess it's mainly writing about events and organizing videos and articles while travelling from region to region." You say.
  1669. >"Sounds nauseatingly mundane quite frankly, I figured the job would bring you to protests and business conferences all over the galaxy." He remarks.
  1670. >"It wasn't always like that..." You say trailing off.
  1671. >"The empire changed that?" Anon asks.
  1672. >"No, it was before the empire, during the terrors." You say.
  1673. >"The Terrors?" Anon asks
  1674. >"The Terrors. I became a reporter at their peak." you say.
  1675. >"What were they." Anon asks, looking more awkward than normal.
  1676. >"Wait you don't know?" You ask.
  1677. >"No, I don't" He says.
  1678. >"This really isn't the place, and I'm not one to speak about it given how separated my homeworld was from the wider galactic arm." You say.
  1679. >"Fine, I won't ask about it anymore." He says.
  1680. >That was partly a lie.
  1681. >Less so about home.
  1682. >More so the Terrors.
  1683. >They affected home, but your village was irrelevant to the wider planetary conflict.
  1684. >That's partly why you had so many guys at your high school.
  1685. >Draft dodgers.
  1686. >Eager, horny, cowardly.
  1687. >Rather unlike Anon, both to your relief and dismay.
  1688. >He gets up and begins to walk towards the canyon.
  1689. ><
  1690. ><
  1691. ><
  1692. >You hang your toes over the edge of the alien canyon
  1693. >The itch that commands you to join most of your squad scratches at the back of your mind.
  1694. >You pay it no mind.
  1695. >You turn to see Julia sitting a few dozen yards away.
  1696. >A black shape in a sea of color.
  1697. >You look at your hands.
  1698. >A real good look at them.
  1699. >You remember the last time you did this.
  1700. >The first day you became a navigator.
  1701. >Those hands are no more.
  1702. >Calloused, scarred, rough and your only pair of them.
  1703. >You're not keen on raising your pant legs anytime soon.
  1704. >As you find yourself lost in thought before the great scar on the planet carved by some ancient dry river.
  1705. >You look down the chasm seeing the river below.
  1706. >It's blood red.
  1707. >You feel two arms wrap around you.
  1708. >"Hello!" you exclaim.
  1709. >"Hey~" Julia says with a playful but somewhat somber cheer.
  1710. >"What brings you over here" You ask in an oddly fatherly way.
  1711. >Julia laugh-caws.
  1712. >You smile what you can, your lips not quite wanting to get that perfect arch.
  1713. >You sit down, your feet dangling off the rocky ledge.
  1714. >Julia presses her head through your arms and rests on your lap, her legs extending out behind you.
  1715. >You run your hands through her feathers, embracing the spine-like stems and the down like fluff of them.
  1716. >You lean back laying.
  1717. >You run your fingers through whatever feathers are adjacent to your arm.
  1718. >This goes on for some time as you take in the ever black martian sky.
  1719. >The stars of the night and a sun like that of Norway.
  1720. >You look at Julia, she's shifted her body to have her chest rest on your abdomen.
  1721. >For whatever reason the look in Julia's eyes have taken on an innate lust about them.
  1722. >Her eyes narrow and tongue slips to the right of her beak ever so slightly.
  1723. >"Anon..." She says between shallow heated breaths.
  1724. >What the fuck.
  1725. >Where the hell are you petting.
  1726. >You turn to see your hand between her thighs.
  1727. >Ah that's it.
  1728. >I did this.
  1729. >Momma didn't raise a quitter.
  1730. >You slide one of your freehand's fingers into her beak.
  1731. >He tongue begins to twist around the digit like a mating snake.
  1732. >With your right hand you pull down her denim short shorts to reveal a soaked pair of violet panties.
  1733. >"Please..." She whispers in your ear.
  1734. >Ohh fuuckk.
  1735. >You move her panties aside, letting her sex glisten in the morning sun.
  1736. >She stares at you her eyes pleading "Don't tease me any longer"
  1737. >You begin to rub it with two fingers, her back arching at the touch.
  1738. >You put another finger in her mouth and she lightly bites down on them.
  1739. >She begins to squeeze her one breasts through her yellow tank top.
  1740. >Her eyes roll back and close after your fingers enter in burning intimacy
  1741. >Tight, hot, wet.
  1742. >Her breath begins to match the speed of your wrist's movement.
  1743. >Your raging erection is now clearly visible through your jeans.
  1744. >She shifts her upper body once more highlighting her inhuman flexibility.
  1745. >She begins to stroke your bulge through your pants.
  1746. >As she teases more you finger her faster.
  1747. >You want more.
  1748. >You want to make her yours.
  1749. >Everything.
  1750. >You slide your left hand down the neck of her shirt, under the bra and unto bare breast.
  1751. >She begins to moan ever so slightly
  1752. >It soon picks up until it reaches its crescendo.
  1753. >Her tongue droops from her mouth, her foot-talons wrapped into tight fists.
  1754. >You watch as her eyes flutter as she climaxes.
  1755. >Her moans switch to coos.
  1756. >And lastly to a CAW.
  1757. >She seems to mold your body.
  1758. >"You...aren't...finished..." Julia coos still drunk with pleasure.
  1759. >You unzip your pants and Julia pulls back your boxers.
  1760. >A stunned "woah..." can be heard.
  1761. >You gasp as you feel something wet and hot wrap around your member dragging it down.
  1762. >"Mmmmhmmm" Julia coos as she swings her hips onto your chest.
  1763. >Staring at you is Julia's dripping sex.
  1764. >It looks delicious.
  1765. >Just as your tongue reaches her clit a sudden burst of pleasure washes over your as her winding tongue twirls over your tip.
  1766. >The feeling alone is that of euphoria.
  1767. >The gentle swaying of her tail feathers only seems to drag more attention to herself.
  1768. >A grin creeps across your face as you begin to dine in aggressively.
  1769. >You grab her ass, spreading it pushing your tongue deeper into her intensely hot intimacy.
  1770. >She responds with more vigorous usage of her tongue, playing with your member in her beak moving it side to side as her tongue coils around.
  1771. >Up
  1772. >and
  1773. >Down
  1774. >It feels like she's wanting.
  1775. >Eager even.
  1776. >She wants to please.
  1777. >Her tongue's tip begins to fondle your balls.
  1778. >You can feel she's getting wetter by the moment.
  1779. >Her insides are tightening around your tongue.
  1780. >The tongue coiling along your phallus tightens in kind.
  1781. >She stops supporting herself with her arms.
  1782. >One arm is clearly gripping a breast with the other is keeping her up.
  1783. >You see her back arch.
  1784. >Slowly the pleasure has been building in your mind.
  1785. >First as little tingles
  1786. >Next as a pulsing shocks.
  1787. >The current feeling is irresistible
  1788. >Just as her back arches, forcing her tongue away from your member
  1789. >You shoot your ropes onto her beak adorning her black features with thick white bands.
  1790. >You watch as she licks them off one by once.
  1791. "Tasty, if on the salty side." She beams
  1792. >No doubt in your mind.
  1793. >You did it.
  1794. >You're in love for the first time since college.
  1795. >Your heart is throbbing more than her dripping sex.
  1796. >You pick up your little lovebird.
  1797. >She panicky pulls up her panties and shorts.
  1798. >She snuggles against your chest as she wraps her arms around your neck.
  1799. >She forgot to do the same with her top
  1800. >Her perky tits are still exposed.
  1801. >nice
  1802. >Just the right size too.
  1803. >She cuddles you as you carry her back
  1804. >Is this what your dad was always talking about?
  1805. >If so you owe him the nicest bottle of bourbon Kentucky has to offer.
  1806. >For some reason you can't explain you feel the overwhelming urge to protect Julia, more so than before.
  1807. >"Hey, Anon, you okay?" She says looking up to you with bright grey eyes.
  1808. >"Yeah, just a bit shocked that's all." You say unable to look her in the eye as you tell your half-truth.
  1809. >That stung a bit more than it should've but it was for the better.
  1810. >You keep carrying her towards the house noting how light she was.
  1811. >She coos and hums periodically.
  1812. >God that's so damn cute.
  1813. >It makes you want to put her on her knees and do that tongue coil thing.
  1814. >But the head on your shoulders much prefers this arrangement.
  1815. >You have her open the door and plop your little bird and your butt on the couch.
  1816. >"You know Anon, I'd never done anything like that before..." She whispers.
  1817. >"In general or with a human?" You ask curiously.
  1818. >"At all with someone else!" She says with a smile.
  1819. >That's so fucking adorable.
  1820. >"Well was it good?" You ask
  1821. >"Couldn't have asked for better, though I would like to know how I taste..." she says with an almost shy way.
  1822. >You reflect on the flavor.
  1823. >"You were sweet with some tang." You say looking down on your clearly embarrassed companion
  1824. >The two of you just watch the t.v for some time, talking during commercial breaks.
  1825. >It starts with politics, differing opinions on the local sector leader.
  1826. >Shes straight environmentalist.
  1827. >Your beliefs align differently but it's not like the old U.S.
  1828. >Healthy exchange of ideas and reasoning.
  1829. >She talks about how she thought steam bombing is unethical.
  1830. >You strongly disagree.
  1831. >A bit more heated debate between the two of your.
  1832. >Her personal loss verses your personal experience.
  1833. >Soon for whatever reason your tongues are wrapping around once another.
  1834. >The full aspects of kissing lips to beak have not been worked out as you're technically biting her beak to keep everything locked together.
  1835. >From there whatever was on t.v became a backseat to the main event.
  1836. >Somehow the two of you started a game after your unexpected makeout session
  1837. >Each time you hear "We'll be back after the break..." the two of you engaged in a duel of who could get in each other's pants first.
  1838. >You lost the first round and got jerked off as you watched some sort of alien romcom.
  1839. >Just as some creature with three eyes came on to say "And we'll be back after these messages" you came straight into her mouth.
  1840. >Before she could anything but swallow you flipped her up on your lap and began to slowly tease her.
  1841. >Naturally your efforts intensified as a Korvan version of Ron Swanson tried to tell you how to prepare fried chicken.
  1842. >With an arched spine and a caw the starting sound plays.
  1843. >Not letting her get the upper hand you pull her butt towards your face only to feel a tongue wrap around your phallus.
  1844. >You lose again.
  1845. >But did you *really* lose?
  1846. >The next segment is on alien jewelry.
  1847. >Platinum earrings only fifty creds a set.
  1848. >how
  1849. >Though your focus is mainly how you're joystick is Julia's plaything for the time being.
  1850. >As another commercial announcer readies the race she milks you onto her beak.
  1851. >Just as "-these messages" finishes you flip the bird so that your face is between her legs.
  1852. >She's so light you can comfortably hold her in an arm supported missionary position.
  1853. >She droops her head back to watch whatever's on while you watch your work play out.
  1854. >Every time you focus on her clit her head swings back up to watch you with fluttering eyes.
  1855. >Just as "after the break" plays once again her foot-claws dig into your shoulders, her spine arches, and she caws once more.
  1856. >You stop counting the wins and losses.
  1857. >It just flips every break.
  1858. >Come lunchtime you two need to go out and buy groceries.
  1859. >Probably a good thing for the two of you as couch oral, handies, and fingering had done a number on the both of you.
  1860. >The local shop is rather small but has all you need.
  1861. >As you walk between the open pallets of food you mark things off the list the two of you quickly made.
  1862. >Bread
  1863. >eggs
  1864. >Cold cuts and sliced cheese
  1865. >can of mushroom soup
  1866. >miniwheats
  1867. >supposedly those are popular in the galaxy now
  1868. >milk
  1869. >Deli mustard
  1870. >nesquik
  1871. >a myriad of earth and alien vegetables.
  1872. >Just about one of everything from the McCormick spice rack.
  1873. >fresh pork chops
  1874. >Fresh blue something you've never seen before.
  1875. >A bag of chocolate chips.
  1876. >flour
  1877. >other baking essentials
  1878. >A bottle of "heat suppressants" for Julia
  1879. >Not your place to know.
  1880. >And on sale flank steak.
  1881. >You slide a bottle of Stubb's barbecue sauce into the cart.
  1882. >You're paying so what does it matter.
  1883. >Fuck it Irish cream too.
  1884. >Nothing beats Cronus Chocolate Milk.
  1885. >Once you get back to Julia's place the competition resumes.
  1886. >She blows you as you make sandwiches.
  1887. >In retaliation you pull up behind her as she's cleaning up.
  1888. >The flavor of today has been no penetration after all
  1889. >Actually why is that?
  1890. >You whisper into Julia's ear "Why has the rule been non-penetrative today?"
  1891. >"I want to savor being a twenty virgin a little longer" She says with a smile on her face.
  1892. >She wasn't joking.
  1893. >That's hot as fuck.
  1894. >Well you're not gonna ruin the fun.
  1895. >You press your member between her thighs.
  1896. >Her back straightens and you grab her wrists.
  1897. >You begin to move your hips slowly feeling her intimacy
  1898. >"What are you doing?!" Julia demands
  1899. >"A Thighjob." You reply.
  1900. >"What's that?" She asks
  1901. >"You'll see." you say trying your best to sound seductive.
  1902. >See quickly learns the rules of the game
  1903. >Each time you move forward she grinds on your dick
  1904. >She's lubed you up nicely
  1905. >Her thigh feathers feel like silk when wet.
  1906. >Its euphoric
  1907. >And it erotic beyond reason
  1908. >She turns her head back shoving her tongue in your mouth
  1909. >You take your hands off the counter's ledge and take hold of her tits.
  1910. >fluffy and firm
  1911. >Julia starts pressing you back until you are pressed against the wall.
  1912. >She takes control of the situation moving her hips in subtle but notably different patterns.
  1913. >You take your hands off her breasts and move to her hips controlling the motion yourself.
  1914. >Slowly you once more take control
  1915. >You bend her over the island and keep at a pace that keeps you both *well stimulated*
  1916. >She decides it's her turn once more forcing you back first onto the couch.
  1917. >The way she rides is heavenly.
  1918. >She's constantly turning her head to make sure you're enjoying it.
  1919. >Its the cutest fucking thing.
  1920. >You hear the quietest little moans
  1921. >It's like she's trying to remain modest in some way
  1922. >God that adorable.
  1923. >The gentler sensations of the thighjob is driving you mad
  1924. >It's not the familiarity of her handjob
  1925. >Nor the alien sensation of her weird tongue blowjob thing.
  1926. >Its something else entirely
  1927. >It seems to have a similar effect of Julia
  1928. >She's getting more and more into it as she somehow does a thighjob reverse cowgirl
  1929. >You aren't gonna make her do all the work
  1930. >Even if you really
  1931. >Really
  1932. >REALLY want to lie back and enjoy the show.
  1933. >You spin her around
  1934. >She doesn't miss a beat while you work.
  1935. >The look on her face is that of bliss
  1936. >Her eyes are gently fluttering.
  1937. >You pick up the pace as you feel yourself reaching orgasm
  1938. >She starts moaning louder and deeper.
  1939. >She wraps her arms around your neck.
  1940. >It forces her clawed feet onto your shoulders.
  1941. >"Please... all over... my body" she whispers between moans.
  1942. >You finally release covering her in your seed.
  1943. >From her beak to just above her sex lines of white can be seen.
  1944. >She's still breathing heavily.
  1945. >"A-Anon, can you take me to the shower." She asks between tired breaths.
  1946. >You just pick her up and walk where she points.
  1947. >Today so far has massively improved.
  1948. >All because you petted her horny switch by accident.
  1949. >For all it's worth you've gotten pretty worn out yourself.
  1950. >You set Julia down in the tub portion of the shower and turn on the water.
  1951. >Just hot enough to steam.
  1952. >She lathers herself in some feather shampoo and sensually cleans herself off.
  1953. >You do the FOB fiver and just sit between her legs.
  1954. >She looks up at you.
  1955. >"What are you doing?" She says teasingly.
  1956. >"Just enjoying the show." You respond.
  1957. ><
  1958. ><
  1959. ><
  1960. >Today...
  1961. >Today was something special
  1962. >You and Anon shared several of your firsts
  1963. >Your still rather timid about giving up your virginity
  1964. >In no part helped by Anon's considerable size.
  1965. >The afternoon passed quickly
  1966. >You went clothes shopping with and for Anon.
  1967. >Then you went for a short hike down the canyon.
  1968. >Before you knew it was evening.
  1969. >Thankfully Anon had put the steak in a marinade in the morning.
  1970. >You know this cause you could taste the components on his tongue.
  1971. >Now as you lie here next to Anon you can't help but run your fingers along his scars.
  1972. >So many
  1973. >Perhaps it was the fact you could see them
  1974. >Or perhaps it was the fact that you felt safe around him
  1975. >But there was something to it that made you feel...
  1976. >Saddened?
  1977. >Somber?
  1978. >Somber, it's not like you could've changed his fate before you met him
  1979. >Still, you've seen the man rise from the hospital bed his own doctor said he would die on.
  1980. >You feel attached to him, more than ever.
  1981. >You close your eyes and press yourself against his chest.
  1982. >And
  1983. >Go
  1984. >to
  1985. >s-l-e-e-p.
  1986. >
  1987. >You dream of a forgien coast, of fine white sand.
  1988. >Behind you is Anon, wearing nothing, but so are you.
  1989. >The water is crystal clear more so than anything you’d ever seen back home.
  1990. >You lie down on one of two towels placed atop the sand.
  1991. >Despite the sun beating down you it’s relaxing.
  1992. >The salty air
  1993. >The gentle sounds of low waves on the beach.
  1994. >It feels natural, as if this place was a home you’ve never known.
  1995. >
  1996. >You wake up not to Anon’s face, but to the spinning fan and a cold bed.
  1997. >You hear the crinkle of paper as you roll over.
  1998. >It reads “Hey Julia. Sorry I woke up at four-ish and decided to go for a run.”
  1999. >You crawl out of bed and everything is sore.
  2000. >From the tongue to the legs everything aches.
  2001. >You throw on your robe and walk into the bathroom
  2002. >You brush your tongue and beak to get the taste of morning breath off of it.
  2003. >You grog over to the couch wearing nothing but your robe.
  2004. >With a press of a button the T.V turns on.
  2005. >”Good Morning Mars! It’s Eight AM on the New Houston Time Zone, or 11pm Military Standard.”
  2006. >”What the fuck even is Military Standard?” You say aloud before scratching the place where beak meets flesh with one claw.
  2007. >”Today the Jeewol have been repelled from Rema, Mr. Human has titled this new offensive the Apocalypse Campaign. So far over five hundred worlds have reclaimed and only thirty million of our own have perished, while nearly two billion Jeewol have perished thanks to the deployment of better armor, chemical weapons, and three new fleets.” The female Korvan host says.
  2008. >”In other news our Ancie allies towards the galactic mid rim are reporting a new threat has already claimed over a hundred worlds. They are refusing to share details to the Sentillian envoys demanding a private rendezvous with Mr. Human to disclose the information. Mr. Human has refused, claiming that his envoies are an extension of him.” Continues the Male Fennox.
  2009. >You change the channel.
  2010. >You don’t want to think about the war, or politics, or any of that.
  2011. >It’s a channel you’ve never seen.
  2012. >It's called Hallmark.
  2013. >After a commercial for some Christian Living supercenter near Olympus Mons the show begins.
  2014. >After watching for five minutes you wonder how in the seven hells a single mother with no job ropes the multi millionaire cowboy sports star, that might be a prince..
  2015. >The credits roll after a wedding and the next movie starts like clockwork.
  2016. >This time the human woman is closer to you in color, but more of a brown in the skin rather than the black your feathers are.
  2017. >Oh, she’s a single mother too
  2018. >Wow.
  2019. >Is this what human men have to deal with to pick up a female mate?
  2020. >You watch a movie that is supposed to be a romance but seems more like a tragedy.
  2021. >Man loses his job due to a totally bullshit reason
  2022. >Has to move back with his parents for another bullshit reason
  2023. >Single mother, the dad just “walked out”
  2024. >What the fuck does that even mean?
  2025. >The movie has the woman about to be kicked out of her house for not paying her mortgage
  2027. >The more you watch the more and more questions you get before you get to a wedding that seemed to come out of nowhere.
  2028. >Just as the next movie starts Anon comes in with a box of something.
  2029. >”Whatcha doing Julia?”
  2030. >”I have no idea Anon”
  2031. >He sets down the box on the breakfast table and leans over the couch.
  2032. >You look up to Anon, he’s covered in sweat.
  2033. >”The Hallmark? Seriously Julia?”
  2034. >”Is this really what human dating is like?” You ask.
  2035. >”Good God no. I mean every girl wants to be the woman in a Hallmark movie, but even they know that’s wishful thinking.” He answers earnestly.
  2036. >oh
  2037. >Its wish fulfillment the channel
  2038. >”Well who watches it then?” You ask Anon
  2039. >”Old women, single mothers, divorcees, and for some reason bored married men wanting to sleep.” Anon replies snarking at the end
  2040. >I’m Sorry What.
  2041. >”Do the men watch it to fall asleep or something?” You joke at Anon.
  2042. >”Jokes aside. Absolutely, my old man told me to do that when I couldn’t sleep.” He says with a grin.
  2043. >Old Man?
  2044. >Human slang is weird
  2045. >You look over at the digital clock by the T.V
  2046. >Its 10:32 AM
  2047. >And you haven’t eaten.
  2048. >You get up and Anon heads towards the shower.
  2049. >Whatever is in the box smells heavenly
  2050. >Savory, sweet, and bready all at once.
  2051. >Your beak fills up with saliva as you wait for Anon to get out of the shower wondering what could be in the box.
  2052. >It reads in bright red letters “WAR GOD KOLACHES”
  2053. >So whatever they are its called kolaches
  2054. >Nice to know.
  2055. >As you hover over the box of kolaches the curiosity of what a kolache is gets the better of you
  2056. >You slowly raise the lid with a single black claw
  2057. >Inside are twelve rolls of three different shapes.
  2058. >Four long tubular ones, four circles with some sort of filling that smells of fruit, and four circles with something inside but the smell is hard to make out.
  2059. >You close the box up quickly
  2060. >Anon is singing a song in the shower but you can’t make it out.
  2061. >You’re tempted to go and spy on him.
  2062. >Like a peeping tom.
  2063. >Peeping Penny?
  2064. >You pull out one of the breakfast chairs, letting the just ever so slightly warm ray of the sun from the window set on your feathers.
  2065. >You stare at the box of kolaches reflecting on the past few weeks?
  2066. >No
  2067. >Not weeks.
  2068. >It's been far longer
  2069. >Months.
  2070. >For three months you watched a man, not of your kind, not even of the feather, beak, or claw.
  2071. >But why?
  2072. >Again that question
  2073. >What? And Why?
  2074. >You feel like an idiot.
  2075. >Like a child unaware of how the world around you works.
  2076. >And you know quite a fair bit of how it works.
  2077. >You watched the shadow war
  2078. >Because you were hidden from it
  2079. >Then you went out into the galaxy
  2080. >You and you alone forged your path from there.
  2081. >Then came Draak
  2082. >And Bav’d
  2083. >And Lisiki
  2084. >The path you tried to forge came to a screeching halt as you watched species you’d never seen before fight war far larger than anything that had come the the past hundred generations of your kind
  2085. >For all your grief, for all the people you’ve watched die, you know many people have had it far, far worse.
  2086. >However comforting that is it doesn’t help the heaviness in your heart.
  2087. >You look up to the window
  2088. >the strange flag of your neighbor dancing in the morning breeze
  2089. >For something you know nothing about the way the stars ripple along their blue corner while the red and white bands flow in the wind just seems calming, like everything will someday be fine.
  2090. >Though knowing that he’s someone from “America” Anon would probably say that they were genocidal maniacs who caused a dark age or something.
  2091. >Or not
  2092. >Information on human nations is hard to come by in a way you understand, well before you learned standard.
  2093. >Eh.
  2094. >What does it matter anyway, all those nations are gone.
  2095. >You look back at the box of kolaches.
  2096. >Your stomach growls at you.
  2097. >It’s hard to resist opening it and eating them, but you think Anon wanted it to be a treat for the two of you.
  2098. >For a man who fell from the sky blinded and broken, he is rather kind.
  2099. >And scarily full of energy.
  2100. >The muffled singing of Anon stops as does the water
  2101. >You do your best to try to remain happy as your mix of anger and hollowness slowly fades.
  2102. >Ravens never were good at getting over things, especially feelings.
  2103. >Anon comes around the corner to the little breakfast nook.
  2104. >...
  2105. >Why is he just staring at you?
  2106. >“Anon?”
  2107. >He shakes his head and seems to snap into a more normal state.
  2108. >”Have you had any of the Kolaches?” He asks with a slight smile.
  2109. >”Uhhh. No? Was I supposed to?” You ask once again, feeling like an idiot.
  2110. >”It’s rather nice of you to wait for me.” He says skirting the question
  2111. >The meal is nice.
  2112. >The long ones had a sausage inside of them, the ones that smelled of fruit were made with native Earth fruits, and the enclosed ones were filled with meat and cheese.
  2113. >After breakfast Anon puts the eight leftover ones in the fridge, and you go back to the couch.
  2114. >He asks if he can use your computer
  2115. >Sure go ahead.
  2116. >The midday is spent in a lazy silence, Anon totally quiet doing whatever it is on the computer and you lazing around watching T.V and movies.
  2117. >Sometime in the afternoon you must’ve dozed off on the couch and woke up with Anon at your side and a blanket over your body.
  2118. >”Oh hey. You’re here now.” You say with that veil of sleepiness.
  2119. >”Yeah I just had to check to see if my family moved and some happenings on Earth” He says casually.
  2120. >”What’s been happening on Earth?” You ask with curiosity rather than confusion.
  2121. >”There’s peace in the middle east for the first time since the dawn of civilization.” He says smiling.
  2122. >Not even gonna ask.
  2123. >”Well what's the dinner plan Anon?” you ask.
  2124. >”I was gonna ask you that.” Anon responds.
  2125. >”Well we went to the store yesterday. I could prepare some of the vegetables we got and mix it with some meat.” You reply.
  2126. >Anon laughs and covers his face.
  2127. >”What's so funny?” You say embarrassed
  2128. >”Oh it's nothing really, I just forgot how much difference there is in food around the empire.” He says
  2129. >”So you’re cooking?” You tease.
  2130. >”Give a man a fish, and he won’t be hungry for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he will never go hungry.” Anon quotes.
  2131. >”What are you trying to say” You ask.
  2132. >”I’m not cooking, I’m teaching you the basics.” He says.
  2133. >So Human’s cook greens.
  2134. >This is the closest thing to blasphemy in Avin space.
  2135. >But if it’s sin, so help you.
  2136. >Chicken, a bird cattle thing, is covered with spices and herbs before being cooked
  2137. >”Hey Julia is eating birds taboo among bird people?” Anon asks as he takes the chicken off the skillet.
  2138. >”It’s no different than you eating a fellow mammal.” You say.
  2139. >”So you have all sorts of bird-cattle?” Anon asks.
  2140. >”Sorta?” You respond remembering the giant insects your family raised for silk and milk.
  2141. >”I guess everywhere has its chickens.” He says.
  2142. >Sure
  2143. >It’s a simple meal. Good, not excellent, but a fine way to end a day and easy on the gizzard.
  2144. >The evening is quiet, it's just the two of you in the dimly lit living room, the sun just beginning to set.
  2145. >You watch some old Earth science fiction movie called “Ender's Game”
  2146. >Got it pretty spot on.
  2147. >Minus the whole child generals and mindless swarm.
  2148. >But the brutal spectacle and training in zero gravity was spot on.
  2149. >It was odd how humans fantasized about this, it's like they’d been at war for so long it was almost calming.
  2150. >”Is all you humans do is think about war?” You ask Anon.
  2151. >”Not really.” He responds.
  2152. >”Then why is seemingly half your fiction and legend so rooted in it. Hell even the bible has near constant war from Heaven all the way down to the Holy Land?” You prod.
  2153. >”It’s less so war and more so suffering. Suffering is life, suffering is strength, suffering is everything, without suffering you never mature, you’d never grow wise, you’d never find God.” He reflects.
  2154. >”Why is suffering so essential to you humans then? You prod deeper.
  2155. >”Because for less than a hundred years, everyone suffered, forever and always, and then one group almost suffered not at all. My kin being among those privileged few.” He says
  2156. >”Did you wipe out the lesser breeds?” You asks curious
  2157. >Anon seems taken aback, his mechanical eyes seeming to show shock.
  2158. >”What? Don’t the first to reach zenith exterminate the lessers?” You ask.
  2159. >”No! What do you mean lessers? Do you mean blacks? Asians? Who?” Anon asks
  2160. >”Lessers. Weaker subspecies, those who refused to progress. A lesser race.” You say explaining what you think is basic galactic social developmental theory.
  2161. >”Subspecies? Wait you mean races?” He exclaims
  2162. >”That’s another way of putting it I guess.” You say
  2163. >”NO! We didn’t kill them, we tried to help them.” Anon protests
  2164. >”Jeez just joking…” you lie through your beak.
  2165. >You're not quite sure Anon believes you but he doesn’t seem to be confident enough to call your bluff.
  2166. >He gets up and when he gets back he sits on the adjacent couch.
  2167. >Looks like the lessers still breathe air on Earth.
  2168. >That and the empathy arose early.
  2169. >How odd for a species to do such things but it was likely far out of their control.
  2170. >Fucking humans.
  2171. >Attractive, disciplined and more confusing than string theory
  2172. >”I’m going to bed” you before getting up.
  2173. >”Night see you in the morn.” Anon says.
  2174. >He doesn’t join you before you fall asleep
  2175. >How disappointing.
  2176. ><
  2177. ><
  2178. ><
  2179. >It's sunday morning.
  2180. >he first one you can see in a long time
  2181. >You eventually joined Julia but she was fast asleep.
  2182. >It was the morning sun that woke you up like a warm hug.
  2183. >In the air hangs the faint smell of sulphur and steam
  2184. >You quickly dress and make sure to grab the rosary you have neglected to wear since the day you lost your eyes.
  2185. >A moment of hesitation comes over you as your hand rests on the door handle to the outside.
  2186. >You know he’s here again.
  2187. >You slink your way towards the biggest building in the town.
  2188. >As its walnut doors come into view seven bells ring.
  2189. >A man in a white gown with hair to match pushes them open before returning into the building.
  2190. >Inside are row after row of wooden benches.
  2191. >You take a seat in the far right of the center of the mass of benches.
  2192. >The smell of sulphur seems to grow stronger the longer you stay in the church.
  2193. >Not again.
  2194. >You can feel anxiety singe in your chest as the church roars with silence during.
  2195. >You sigh once the priest takes the altar.
  2196. >The Bell rings once more and the man in the gown begins to recite
  2197. >”Gloria Patri, et filio, et spiritui sancto…”
  2198. >It is time for morning mass
  2199. >Latin Mass.
  2200. >As the priest gives his sermon you clasp your hands tight and keep your head bowed in a praying position.
  2201. >Prayers are recited, sermons given, and wine and bread delivered.
  2202. >The bell rings eight times now and everyone but you leaves.
  2203. >The priest comes over to you.
  2204. >”My child what ails you?” He asks.
  2205. >”I need to confess, father.” You reply
  2206. >The priest guides you to the booth. Only one door is open.
  2207. >”I am not the one who listens to your sins in this church.”
  2208. >”Then who does father?” You ask.
  2209. >”The old priest, he’s too weak to give sermons now.” He says with a frown.
  2210. >”I understand father.” You say remaining cordial with the white haired man.
  2211. >You go into the booth and close the french doors taking a deep breath as you flip the lock over the knob handles.
  2212. >”What burdens you mind, young man.” Says an exhausted yet wise voice.
  2213. >”Forgive me Father. For I have sinned.” You say feeling guilty about the seed of doubt that last night's conversation planted in your mind.
  2214. >”Confess them to me child.” The priest chokes.
  2215. >You hesitate for a moment.
  2216. >You decide not to lie, but tell a full truth.
  2217. >”It was the war father. I have killed many. By the end of it I seemed to enjoy watching my enemies die. Now that I look back-”
  2218. >”That is not what weighs on your soul.” The old priest croaks.
  2219. >”How-” You protest before being cut off again.
  2220. >”The Lord lets me see your soul, child. Confess unto me honestly..” He says his voice envigored slightly.
  2221. >You let loose your sins and your face flushes with the heat of shame. Every word you speak lightens a burden on your heart but it weighs on your mind.
  2222. >The priest clears his throat once you’ve confessed far more than just sin.
  2223. >He tells you a basic “thou shall not sin” and to pray for salvation.
  2224. >It is poor advice but you do feel better.
  2225. >Once you leave the confession booth the smell of sulphur returns in full and the feeling of being watched begins.
  2226. >By the time you’re back at Julia’s home the feeling is unshakable and you swear that you see a pair of glowing red eyes staring at you in your peripheral.
  2227. >You find Julia vacuuming the floor of the living room, her tail plumage shaking to the rhythm of a song she’s listening to through headphones.
  2228. >You begin to explore the house beyond what you’ve already been in.
  2229. >A Small study filled with paper and pictures.
  2230. >A guest bedroom empty except a single sheetless bed.
  2231. >You sit on the bed, the muffled sound of the vacuum and the smell of sulphur being the only things to herald your “guest”.
  2232. >The grinding sound of metal gears and hiss of steam approach from behind.
  2233. >”Hello Anon.” The voice calls, this time as if it were two people speaking at once.
  2234. >”What is that you want progress?” You demand
  2235. >The world around you seems to shift.
  2236. >He says nothing but stare at you and raise a hand with a single gloved finger pointed at you
  2237. >The world shifts fully.
  2238. >The smell of sulphur still lingers.
  2239. >There’s no bed here.
  2240. >You know this place.
  2241. >It's Keeg city.
  2242. >Folidae
  2243. >You’re not in a trench
  2244. >Nor or a bunker.
  2245. >Not a chokepoint or any other form of defensive construction.
  2246. >You’re in the ruins of a hospital in the company of dead comrades.
  2247. >Some have a hole in their temples, others a set three in their chests.
  2248. >You remember today perfectly.
  2249. >The Jeewol aren’t the targets.
  2250. >And it never happened officially.
  2251. >You close your eyes taking a deep breath of what should be stale air, trying to harden your heart to what is to come.
  2252. >As you open them you’re back in the guestroom, the horseman still staring at you with a mix of contempt, apathy, and what seems to be eagerness.
  2253. >”You need to let that day go.” The split voice of the rider says,
  2254. >You look at the red hot coals of eyes. “And would suggest going about that?” You say resentment mounting inside you.
  2255. >”That isn’t a suggestion Anonathan.” The horseman says flatly before simplifying not being there anymore.
  2256. >No fade it just isn’t there anymore.
  2257. >You think about the Horseman’s demand.
  2258. >You can’t just do that.
  2259. >Not that one.
  2260. >You remember it all too well.
  2261. >Civilians, soldiers…
  2262. >... traitors
  2263. >No lasers, no plasma, no bullets.
  2264. >Just blades, clubs, hammers, and mauls.
  2265. >You stop smelling sulphur.
  2266. >The hiss of steam fades into silence.
  2267. >But the memories of Folidae remain.
  2268. >Panic wells up.
  2269. >A tear rolls down your cheek.
  2270. >A lump in your throat forms.
  2271. >You fight down the feelings.
  2272. >You walk into the living room where Julia is dusting the top of a bookshelf.
  2273. >You wrap your arms around her chest and rub your cheek against the downy feathers on the back of her head.
  2274. >”You alright Anon.”
  2275. >You don’t respond, you just close your eyes and try to forget.
  2276. >Julia lets you rest on her seeming to understand not everything is alright.
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