-X- Introduction –X-
- Desolate Gail: Redux
- Started on: 5-17-2004 / Posted on: 5-17-2004 / Checked on: 3-7-2005
- By: Zeronova
- Chapter 1: Defenses breached
- Text: Third person, Narration
- Text: First person, Thoughts
- Text : Interjection, the Narrator
to Readers: I, Zeronova, am the author of the story. But,
the bold typing is not I, it is the Narrator, a character in the
story. Confusing sounding? Try to think that you are
reading something written by a man in the times of Guilty Gear, and it
will make sense. The Narrator is a character in the story (and
even has a hidden identity), it is not Zeronova, and this is not a
story that infracts on the "Non-story; lists, notes, polls,
announcement, and etc" violation. Thank you for your time, and
-X- End Introduction –X-
Until this day, sometimes I think it was all for naught. Like, what the hell was it all for? Worthless, I say. Guess that's why I'm here now. But, not let's get ahead of ourselves, there's more to my bloody story than meets the eye. Well, maybe not, but I'll tell it anyway, because I'm allowed my damn soliloquy. Not to mention this may be my last one ever, if what plans on happening does happen indeed. So, where to start? I guess I should do this more linguistically, considering I got a little bit of a long story to tell. Third person always was a good way to start, eh? In plus, it'll give a bit more of an edge to it, I think. Before I start, I think I should give a backdrop to my morbid tale.
The year is 2175, the hundredth-and-first year in the fight against the Gears. The Gears were made as a helpful invention to mankind, to aid in their progression of technology. Ever since man learned to make things, he's made more. The wheel led to the wagon. Fire lead to blacksmithing. And, then our inventions took a life of their own. All of them lead to death in the end, blacksmithing to swords, fire to guns, and the wheel to the tank, all used in mass death one time or another. Through our years, some things we have forgotten, others live only as myth, but some are still among us.
In 2010, mankind found a new scientific breakthrough: magic. It was dubbed that only by old literature and public consensus, but what it really was is simply an atomic anomaly, inherent in every atom in the universe, using part of the magnetic forces between atoms, and those that bind the very fibers of what makes up the atoms themselves. Honestly, I don't know, I'm only a normal guy, but what I do know is what I learned from the Seikishidan codes. I'm getting ahead of myself, so let's back up.
After the invention of Gears, at about 2014, by months or a few years, I don't know, but it was soon, all countries used them. Gears are life forms, human or animal, that are infused with excessive amounts of magic into their DNA, altering, or all together changing them into other creatures. They all have one thing in common: they are subservient, like slaves. They have massive power, were controllable, and expendable. Perfect for governments, eh? Well, all of the developers of the Gear project went missing in 2016, rumor being they all went into the Gear project themselves, and it grinded to a halt. The head scientist, Frederick, was the first to go off the deep end, but not much more is known besides that. He is considered the major leader in the Gear project, and our woes commonly go back to cursing Frederick.
Well, the world went through multiple economic surges, all good for the next half century, all sorts of great things coming along, and man's creations doing all the things right. In 2073, a new Gear project was started, and was kept out of the political spotlight for one good reason: a prototype Gear was being made. Since Gears are subservient in nature, this project's goal was to make a sentient Gear, one that had all the right stuff, an artificial intelligence, you could say. It was made with the intent to control the subservient Gears from governments to lead armies. They made it, and what a job they did. What was the problem though? In 2074, all of the Gears in the world started a formal attack on their masters, all under the control of, you guessed it, the sentient Gear. This new Gear called itself Justice, after murdering its creators, declared war on humans as a whole, not just because of their injustice (get the name pun now?), but because of their pure uselessness as a race.
Enter the Seikishidan. Formed in 2074 when the Gears formally started their attack by totally destroying the islands of Japan, the United Nations gathered together the best and brightest of all of the soldiers in the world, and formed the Holy Order (called Seikishidan as a pet name) to fight the Gears. Kind of ironic that it has such a heavy religious influence, since it is a government sanctioned and run operation. Over time though, the Seikishidan gained a life of its own, no longer held back by governments, and became the force of the humans, the military dictatorship that exerted power not over those it ruled, but over those it was trying to overcome.
The year now, 2175, finds the Seikishidan nearing the end of the conflict that has plagued mankind for the hundred-and-first year. Passing the centennial anniversary, the Seikishidan is slating this to be the end of the war. Gear resistance is minimizing, and land taken by the good guys is considerably increasing week by week. Nearly six months ago though, the war was almost ended drastically, the assassination of Ky Kiske almost a success. Who is Ky Kiske, you ask? You're reading this anyway as someone who obviously isn't familiar with us or this world. Maybe my words transcend time, to a place and time where this is ancient history, myth, but there is moral and truth behind this recollection of otherwise fiction of epic proportions. Let's not forget either, that I do not write a perfect biography and history, not to mention I am an author, in a time where books don't exist, which probably justifies my existence more. So, without further adieu, I present to you, the tale of two men, drenched in war, and in blood, to find themselves, and others, and to come to grips with a world not only that they cannot shoulder, but no one can. In the words of William Shakespeare, and the elements so mixed in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, this was a man.
The day was cold, foggy, and an overall shithole. Small fog banks rolled onto the French hills, covering them like a blanket, tucking in the peaceful grass roots to their dirt and the grapes to their bottles, if anyone would've tended to wine bottling anymore. Though, this morning was not one to be taken lightly, for events yet to unfold had the noose yet around the infant neck, waiting to tighten at the slightest.
The Seikishidan headquarters was stationed in France, as it should be, considering the current leader was a Frenchmen himself, though arguably a man or a boy. Built into the hillside of a picturesque small French field, the head quarters was a maze of architectural feats, hidden under the dirt and grass, to hide mankind's last hope. As simplistic as the cross Christ was fastened to, yet as completely intricate as God's plan for man, the headquarters was a building loved by those who made it, endeared by those who stayed in it, and was a symbol for all of humanity to look at for the future. The year of the story starting is 2174, as opposed to me writing this in 2175
The only occupant not as amorous to the building would be Quint Darton. Lying silently on the top bunk of the sardined room, he still had the three piece Seikishidan officer suit lulling off the side of his bed, the hangar at the top not being used, but only as an edifice to something unused. The other seven soldiers of the rectangular room, lined with beds on both sides and a small walkway in the middle, all leading to one door on the far left side, had already prepped and left for their day's work. The entire base worked like a family. You got up, you did your services, your daily routines and work, and you were rewarded with food, drink, and the ability to fight for your race. It was clockwork, and all of those here regarded it with the utmost respect, which is why Quint was at such a disposition with the rest of the Seikishidan.
Awake, with his hands behind his bed, he slowly looked at the ceiling of the room. How many times has it been I counted the dimples in the ceiling? How many times have I turned in the green trimmed outfit of the Seikishidan private to laundry at nights, to wake up with it folded over at the foot of my bed, only detesting to don it again? Ah, fuck it, who cares anyway. Like the big man up there will care. Mr. Kiske wouldn't take his sweet time to punish me for not getting ready, since he sure as hell won't take the time to notice my achievements. Four years, and a private…
Swiveling his legs to hang off of the side of the bed, Darton looked at the freshly washed and starched uniform he had had for four years. Under the left collar, there was a bloodstain, and the distinguishing rip along the right ankle he received a year ago. It was his all right, and while he had become familiar with it, he had also grown to hate it. The first piece was a pair of white pants, that were insulated, but a denim-synthetic material that was baggy, yet light. A lot of movement was allowed by it, but also gave more volume, so if one was to be attacked by a Gear, more clothing would allow the use of armor underneath, or there would be the ability for the attack to hit only clothing. And, it looked snazzy, to those who designed it anyway.
An undershirt was near required, but not law, but above that came a long sleeve white trench coat, with black lining on it. Buttons up the middle, the same insulation that kept warmth in, but wasn't too hot was in this piece of clothing. Above the trench coat came a half-robe that seemed like it was descended from a monk's of the old days, before the Holy War, and before the industrialization of man. And, it wouldn't be too far off to trace that descent either. On top of this, came a large cloth that snapped onto this half-robe, and draped between the legs, held securely by a belt, that came over the trench coat and mid-garment. The mid-garment's main use was to specify rank. It was lined in black with a colored patch filling in the middle. Green for private, orange for lieutenant, purple for corporal, red for sergeant, and finally, blue for chief. There was only one chief of the Seikishidan, Ky Kiske.
The outfits had a respective ranking to them because of their being color coded, like the old days with the pins and medals, but this made it simpler, and easier to identify bodies on the field. Speaking of, the mortality rate as a Seikishidan officer was one in eight per month, meaning that in a total year, not one dorm had a single occupant that originally was stationed there usually. Not good incentive to join, eh? But, as soon as boys turned 16, they joined the Seikishidan, and most went to boot camp at 10. The world was run by the war, as it was the only thing that the world had left.
Quint slowly put on each garment, feeling the texture of it he knew so well, which was such a nuisance to him. His long brown bangs were tucked into his shirt as he put on the final piece of the suit, and then ran his hands along his face upward, relieving them of their prison under his collar. They danced under the jerk, and finally settled sweetly in front of his eyes. He could see perfectly through them, but no one could see his own gaze through the shield of hair he had accumulated on his face. He was clean-shaven, and kept the back of his head well kept, but he let his bangs grow out to well over a foot of brown hair in the front.
A mark of rebellious society, or maybe he just liked it that way, that's how it was. In the middle of his head was a small widow's peak that kept the bangs from growing intensely in the middle, so he naturally had a part in between both of them, but asides from that half inch of separation, he kept his face covered by the invading bangs, like a brown, hairy facemask.
Under his bed were a set of lockers that four of the eight occupants used, and the other four were on the opposite side of the room under another person's bunk. He pulled out his sword slowly, jumping back up to the raised bunk, blade in hand. They gave every recruit their own sword that was manufactured off an assembly line, color-coded to their rank, but all of them were identical. Just under the blade, in the hilt, was a small portion coded to the rank, and inscribed with their name. Q., Darton read his. He removed the sheath, a metal tang reverberating in the empty room, footsteps outside impervious, as usual. Busy bees out there.
The blade was in one piece, but hardly. It had been battered, busted, dented, cracked, and everything else. How many battles in the subsequent four years had his good ol' buddy been through? How many drops of Gear blood have stained the steel? Yet, it was still as reliable to Quint as the day he got it, but it started to show its signs of age every so often. He tucked it into the side of his belt, as Seikishidan dress code allowed, and then reached into his locker again, pulling out an heirloom. A small trinket that was only wrapped in a brown cloth was what could be seen, and he kept it hidden from all of his roommates. He held it tight, brought it to his forehead, and closed his eyes. For the sake of literary mystery, I'll keep the secret until the opportune moment. Replacing it to the former place of secrecy between the boards under the floor of his locker, he promptly shut it and walked out the door.
Meeting him was a high noon sun, drowning in from the top of the Seikishidan building, that was secretly built into the side of a hill, the only real distinguishing mark would be the sky roof, which was ground level, and made of reinforced steel beams and six inch glass. The side of the hill was steep, over three hundred feet of slope with less than 50 feet of horizontal change. The only exit and entrance was a well-conceived cargo door that was big enough to move trucks through (despite few of them even existing anymore, all in use by the Seikishidan as it would be). Both humans and Gears knew of the base's existence, but where was very secret, as the architecture would elicit the air of being classified.
In the complex was six floors, respectively labeled Floor A through F, A being the lowest, and F the highest. They were all interconnected with elevators and stairwells at each end of the floor, which were about a mile and a half from side to side. Not very practical, but there could be no construction on the base, as it was already going on twenty-five years of age, and it would stick out like a sore thumb. Quint currently resided on Floor C.
The floors had about 20 feet from the walls to the railing on each floor, as each had connecting bridges to each side of the floor every 200 feet or so, but besides that, there were large gaps between each side of every floor, leading all the way up to Floor F, with the sky roof square in the middle of the horizontal and vertical measurements of the floor. Each level was cookie cutter like the next, and looked like an ant colony, soldiers scurrying across and around and back. The halls were wide enough on each side of the floors, and the iron railings were sturdy in the 10 inch cement of each floor to keep them from falling off. Each floor had its own special attraction, always built at the north side of the level, near the elevators and stairwells. Floor D had the cafeteria, and according to the large clock embedded into the wall, he was about an hour late for breakfast.
Slowly, he walked down Floor C, soldiers passing him without a care, only focused on what they should and need to do, for God, for humanity, for Ky, whatever reason. It was all repetitive bullshit that they did for reasons galore, ones Quint lost sympathy for. Speaking of God, every level had a small cathedral, and every Seikishidan soldier was given a Bible with their clothes and sword. Quint never cared to open his though. God had no bearing on him, or his life, and belief or lack there of wouldn't change that.
"Sir, I think you need to see this." A red sergeant said, handing Atlas a few papers. Ky looked up from his papers on his desk to see the new ones. He was currently situated on Floor F, a small office room of his own, with a secretary of his own, which was nearer to the emergency elevator that doesn't exist in the architectural plans, built specifically for the commander of the Seikishidan. Ky was only 16, but he had the look of a chiseled man on his face.
"These are?" he asked sternly, admonishing the sergeant for bothering him.
"Reports, sir, of the perimeter defenses. Sir, they've not reported in for over an hour."
"That's not good. What do sentries see?"
"Half are not responding, and the other say the fog blanket is not making it easier." The soldier gave Kiske the answers like a machine, never looking into his eyes, as that was taboo in the Seikishidan. Never look a superior officer in the eyes, it was bad luck, rude, and reproachable by demotion. Not to mention Ky was widely regarded as the next coming of Jesus by many, so he had an imposing aura no matter whom he was with.
"So, what does intel think this is?"
"They have not yet been informed."
"Well, go inform them and bring me their report." Ky said monotonely, but with force.
"Yes sir!" the soldier said, saluting, and taking the manila folder with him. Ky sat back into his chair from his taut position, sighing out.
"I wonder what this is all about…" he said, expelling his lazy breath, stretching his arms. The office room was lined with a beautiful alignment of weapons, polished to shine like Pharos, and edged to cut even the armor of Hephaestus. His hand found its way to his face, rubbing his eyelids with the rough fingering of the Seikishidan gauntlets. Another part of the Seikishidan standard outfit was a pair of padded gauntlets, made of a form of anti-shock ballistic plastic that was resistant to even a sword, and had padding on the inside, and was kept on by three leather belts on top of it. Ky's polished his nightly, as well as his boots. Keeping up the leader of the world wasn't easy, especially aesthetically. I don't think this is going to be a good day.
"Kliff, I could really use you sometimes…" he sighed again. Suddenly, his door burst open again.
"Sir! Intel has given me their response!"
"And?" Ky asked somewhat annoyed by the sudden intrusion and effrontery of the sergeant.
"Gears, sir! Massive attack!" Ky jumped out of his desk, his chair being thrown against the wall, his hands slapping onto the polished oak desk.
"Here!" Ky screamed.
"They took out the sentries and watch towers at the twenty mile markers, and that was over an hour ago, they could be here at any minute!" the sergeant gasped out. He was flustered, obviously scared of the information. Ky's breath escaped him like he was sucker punched in the gut. He sat back in his desk, silent for a moment, eyes seeing past the walls, the soldier, and completely zoning out. Kliff...I could use your help.
"Get out of here and get the horns blowing!" Ky screamed hesitantly, regaining his breath. The soldier jumped out of the door, dropping the manila folder, then returned a second later.
"Sorry, sir! Permission to be excused?" he asked, gasping.
"Go!" Ky yelled, snatching his own weapon off of the corner of the desk. Before he proceeded out of the room, he had to catch his own breath again for the third time.
"Gears…here…" he rasped. "Jesus, help me now…" he cried under his own breaths. He took a few more gasps, and stood up straight. Time to face destiny, whether or not I'm prepared. Well, never was David without his Goliath, and never was Ky without another face in his own too, pursuing him to jump another hurdle, proving his worth for the job he had. Sometimes, it wasn't that the job itself was the problem, it was that the world he had to shoulder. Like Atlas, he was doomed to hold the world on his shoulders, and should he fail, it would teeter, and fall, and roll away into the midnight, never to be seen again. Time to put on your game face. Stern, serious, no crap attitude, and do it with the panache Kliff had.
He strapped the Fuuraiken onto his belt, looking forward out of the door, but not at anything. Well, never a dull day. This is going to be a bad day though, I can feel it. Please, God, do not make it too bad. Ky smashed the alert button on the wall, the precautionary warning glass long since removed by Kliff, smashing it decades earlier in a situation similar. The Seikishidan was old, but Ky was young, yet had to settle into the position of something so vast at the age of sixteen. So far, he'd done well, as most troops would say, but some still detested having a kid lead them to battle. Today would be a great stepping-stone to gain some of that appreciation, especially since he was only appointed 2 months ago.
Sirens jumped out of the walls, wailing their loud bleating cries, and red flashers throwing their signs over every surface they came into direct line of. Ky ran down the stairwells with the rest of the scrambling soldiers. He could hear their murmurs over the sirens, at their amazement of Ky Kiske being next to them, or their sheer amazement he would be using the same method of transportation that they were. He was something more than human to even his own soldiers, and he could feel their uneasiness, even despite a full-scale alarm jarring them enough.
Finally, he arrived in the swarm of bodies to the main entrance hall, in front of the rows and rows of large steel doors, each measuring about sixteen feet in width and twenty feet in height. In all, there were twelve doors, spread out twelve feet from each other, a plain cement ramp leading to all of them, and arrows painted on the ground, fading from years of use and cheap paint that was scraped together in the deficit of everything during the Crusades. The current war was nicknamed the Crusades or the Holy War because of the Seikishidan's religious alignment, and the enemy being Justice.
The soldiers filed into their lines. The red sergeants in front, the orange lieutenants behind them, and then the green privates. The ten thousand men strong lined up in desperation, all of them were either in the middle of a same-day-same-routine act, or still sleeping. The first few lines of red tailored soldiers, their middle-colored cloth lined in black and filled in with red, and the rest of the uniform as white as everyone other's. Ky surged through the disheveled soldiers, pushing through those he could, and all out hugging the wall to get by. He needed to get to the front of the group, and get in front of the mass to brief them. After tackling his way through the running and confused soldiers, he got to the front of the huge mass of denizens, all of them noisy as could be, especially because of the echoing cement room.
Once his presence was realized at the front of the mass, they all silenced themselves fairly quickly. Ky jumped up one of the cement ramps to the steel doors to the outside, standing on what seemed like a podium above others, this time physically, instead of only symbolically and mentally.
"Silence!" he yelled, quieting the last few confused soldiers. Looking out over the mass of soldiers before him, he took a few moments to speak, the echoing sirens in the background giving an eerie sound to the deafness in the filled cargo room. Ten thousand heads, and he knew this was going to be a bad day. How many would he see at the end of the day?
"I'm going to be very honest with all of you. This is going to be a bad day." Well, at least that was off of his chest now. "Gears are coming for us, they'll be here at any moment. They killed the sentries silently in the fog outside, and are closing in from any direction at any moment. This is the only way in and out, so we need to stand our ground here." A hushed murmur made its way through the crowd, fear spreading like an electric virus among them, shooting from one to the next, inspiring fear.
"They may have thousands with them, hundreds of thousands, and we may be outnumbered, surprise attacked, and we may not even have the weather on our side, but we do have one thing. We have God!" He screamed, stabbing his own sword into the air defiantly, to the Gear hordes waiting however many feet or miles from him. Moral speeches were something Ky had picked up from Kliff, but Kliff was a much better speaker. In retrospect, Ky even found his own speech corny that day, but of that day, maybe that was the only thing he could recollect not being bad. He could tell his own words were contrived, and trite, somewhat worthless, as the stirring crowd, restless and afraid in front of him suggested.
"This is ridiculous" Quint whispered under his breath, hundreds of feet from Ky. "Look, big mister leader kid thinks we should fight for God. And the Gears are going to come here, and they're going to try and kill us." He said sarcastically.
Ky finally sighed out, letting his frame come down from its taut and authoritative stance. "I can tell some of you are afraid, others are feeling comedic, but let me assure you of one thing. You all will not live this day. Justice has been increasing his resistance lately. You all know of Lyon's recent invasion, and the Seikishidan branch there being destroyed, all of the soldiers there murdered. For what reason? If we die here, to what extent are our lives lost? I'm not going to give you the hoops to jump through that speeches usually entitle. I'm not Kliff, and I can't replace his absence, or his eloquent speeches. I'm going to tell you what I think. If we lose, humanity is lost. This very well may be the reason God has put you on this planet today. Not a very dramatic or flash of glory way to go out, but this is a battle to remember. When we win, and we defeat Justice, our children will look up in encyclopedias, and look up this date at when Justice lost his attempt to crush humanity, and when we overcame the odds, and lived!" he said, rallying more morale. Ky always was a speaker, among other things, not giving himself as much credit as he deserved. He was fine-tuning his speeches, but this would be a good speech to be remembered by, if his assumptions of this new threat, barely ten minutes old, were as much a threat as assumed.
"I am not ready for this battle, nor are you exactly. I don't care if you don't like me right now because I am the new leader of the Seikishidan. Yes, I am child. Yes, I am inexperienced. But, today, we prove we are men. I fight beside all of you, not only as the leader of the Seikishidan, but as a man among you. So, fight for me, as well as yourself, and we will win. No Gear, no creation, Godless abomination will rob of us of our lives and our souls, those are things God gives us. And what do we do with them? We use them to carry out His will. This is the meaning of them, so help me in this battle, not only as your leader, but as a man." he said in his final hurrah from the crowd. The morale was built up sufficiently, and it was time. Ky didn't exactly like the things he was saying, it wasn't his nature. He was nicer, and still a child, so these things he was saying and doing were direct descendants of what Kliff placed upon him, and what he had to do, rather than was able or wanted to do in the world. Turning around, he grabbed the bottom of the metal rafter door, and threw it open, the morning sun shining into the room, and a golden silhouette on every head. Ky, silhouetted by the melting sun, ran forward into the slow mist that invaded its way into the Seikishidan headquarters. The soldiers burst forward, opening the rest of the doors, running out, swords drawn, to meet the enemy.
-X- Author's Notes –X-
-Well, this is going well. This is going to be every Monday a new update until I finish it, and I am pretty sure that I will not leave this to die, as I did the original. This is a version of the original, with a lot added on. Think of it as a Twin Snakes of Desolate Gail, as MGS did on the Gamecube. Anyway, next Monday, May 24th, we'll see another chapter.
-X- End Author's Notes –X-