G a m b i t

Cleaning a sword is one of the most godawfully horrible jobs of which the human race has ever conceived.

I mean, honestly. This is something that they teach you in the basic arms courses--always remember to clean your blade. Clean off the blood off your blade, the guts, the accumulated ichors and whatever bodily fluids and tissues you've sliced through.

Why? I'll give anyone three guesses. It's not for any complaint of conscience or even for some redeeming social grace. It's because if that blood and those guts get down into the sheathe, they'll start to rot and rust the metal. Then it won't be as easy or as clean to kill using that metal again.

Hah. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, I guess, and that's all we are. Dogs. And for a while I wanted to be the Top Dog, and I'm not sure I do any more. I'm not sure I don't, but I'm not sure I do. It's just one of those things I'm trying not to think of.

Kind of like where exactly this blood on my gunblade came from.

It's dried now--it has been for the last few days. But that's okay, because I haven't sheathed it in all that time, and dried blood doesn't rust. It's only when the moisture gets trapped that things start going to hell.

I chose that particular cliché because it fit too well not to use it. Hell. An interesting concept, and I'm probably bound there eventually--Hyne knows I'm far enough down the road now, at any rate. As I can tell from the blood on Hyperion--blood that I can't take my eyes off, attempting to clean blood off a sharp object without looking at said sharp object is counterproductive in the extreme.

Some of that blood is mine. Fights are messy--blood tends to spurt, drip and fly. Most of it is from other people, though. And I'm guessing that I gave them a fair share of my blood, too. Still, this is the kind of stuff that you're expected to be repulsed by. After all, all of this is supposed to be on the inside of their bodies, not sitting around here decorating my silver.

I feel kinda bad. Hell. They beat me, and I still feel bad.

Well, here's my anticlimax. The results are in, and I lost. There's one Knight-turned-Young-Revolutionary gone. No one will ever see or hear of him again.

...or maybe they will. You never know.

Come to think of it, the world might need a few revolutionaries still. Probably not the ones who consort with Sorceresses and rule nations, though--being in a power seat is a terrible spot for a revolutionary, anyway. And the way I see it, I have three choices--to slink quietly into obscurity, to run back to Garden with my tail between my legs, or to pack it all up and go out with a bang.

The first two options don't sound too appealing. No--I have my image to keep, after all; I can't disappoint, even if the only one who would be disappointed is me. That leaves the third one.

Go out flaming, and see what happens when you tear the world apart.

It should be... fun, at least. Even if it wasn't exactly what I was expecting when I started out.

But, then again, what has been?

By all accounts, I should have given this up a long time ago. Maybe I just haven't learned yet. Maybe I just don't want to. If I end up in hell, I'll take the place over and see who can say what to stop me. It'll be fame and glory all over again.

But this time, I'll make fewer enemies. This time, I'll think a bit more. This time, I'll do it right. And nothing's gonna stop me now.