Charlie: Okay, crazy idea here. I put together this program in Comp Sci class, it basically generates random Fire Emblem Pairings. Well, I was chatting with a friend one day, and this idea hit me. I decided to write it, since Khathlati is over and all. So anyways, it's set in a quaint village in the middle nowhere. Picture a tiny settlement, with one inn, one temple, one police station, one restaurant, and one store. It's basically a tourist town. Surrounding it, are the most beautiful natural formations you could imagine. So, well, you'll see what happens. I don't own FE.
Three arrow bolts and a fire spell later, the former White Wolf of the Black Fang lay dying upon the throne on which he stood his last. The weary members of Eliwood's Elite began to trudge back to their makeshift camp for the night.
Jessica the Tactician stood at camp, watching her weary and injured troops trickle back in twos and threes. As was the case in almost every battle the army's been through, everybody seemed to be keeping to their own little cliques. Jessica sighed.
Teamwork was almost nonexistent in Eliwood's Elite. The archers kept to the archers, the mages kept to the other mages, the cavaliers stayed together, and so on and so forth. Each group claimed to be superior to others, and regardless of how Jessica screamed and yelled, "inter-group teamwork," as it had become to be known, was kept to an absolute minimum. Instead, infighting, rivalries, and inter-group sabotage was rampant though-out the army.
Jessica sighed and looked for the four members of the group she knew she could trust. Pent and Louise of Etruria, Dorcas from Sacae, and Canas, who they picked up in Badon. The four were all married, and much more mature. They tended to ignore appearances and weapon preferences and worked as a group. Jessica approached them with a grim look.
"Damage report?" The tactician asked stiffly.
"Three of the mages got hit by mysterious arrows in the shoulders, all the paladins have singed hair, the warriors and their company of axe-wielders all have scratches, Guy has a nasty lance job in his leg, and Farina mysteriously fell off her Pegasus." Pent reported, reading from a long list.
Jessica sighed. "Do I even NEED to ask why all of that happened?"
Louise shook her head. "Not unless you've gotten amnesia recently."
"It's sad, how this army does more damage to itself than the enemies do to us." Jessica groaned. "We're fighting small fry right now, so we can pass by, but once we hit Dread Isle, we're going to get our asses bit off, chewed, and spat back out at us."
Canas was the next to speak. "Well, we could try to en-"
He didn't finish his sentence before a horrible outburst of yelling flamed from the camp. The five gathered reflexively headed straight into the turmoil, already jaded by the experience. Not to their surprise, they found Rebecca, one of the archers in a nasty yelling match with Erk, a mage. Pent and Canas immediately jumped forward to restrain the two from killing themselves.
"What the HELL is going on out here?" Jessica raged after the combatants had been successfully restrained.
"He started it!" Rebecca screamed.
"What!" Erk groaned. "She was the one who SHOT me in battle!"
"Well, I wouldn't have if you weren't in my way!" Rebecca retorted.
"I wasn't in your way! You were trying to steal my kill!"
Jessica sighed and slapped her forehead. As much as she tried to deny it, the members of Eliwood's Elite were still mere teenagers, some barely over the tender age of 16, but she could not take the constant day to day "he did it, no she did it" arguing any more. It was harmful to the army's morale, it was harmful to the chances of stopping Nergal, and most of all, it was detrimental to her mental and physical help.
"Okay…shut…just SHUT UP!" Jessica screamed.
The two snarling teens silenced themselves and looked up a bit fearfully at their tactician. Jessica rarely ever yelled with such volume outside of the battlefield.
"Okay, this is fucking getting REALLY ridiculous!" Jessica ranted. "'He did it' 'no she did it!' DON'T YOU GUYS KNOW YOU'RE ON THE SAME GODFORSAKEN SIDE! FOR THE LOVE OF ST. ELIMINE JUST CAN'T YOU ALL GET ALONG!"
Jessica stood panting as she blew a stray strand of hair from her face. Around her, members of the army, along with Pent, Louise, Dorcas and Canas stared at here wide-eyed.
"…she started it." Erk said meekly.
"…Excuse me…" Jessica said and walked calmly into her tent.
Pent and Louise looked toward the tactician's tent then they looked back at the army.
"Look everyone." Pent said. "I know that tensions are high, but it's true, it is getting ridiculous. We've been through so much together, and now all you do is fight with each other, and for what? To prove that your choice of weapon or class is BETTER than that of the person next to you? It's really childish. We're in a war; we can't afford stuff like this. So, give Jess a break and cool down okay? We're in this together."
"Pent's right." Louise said agreeing with her husband. "We can do so much more if we work together, why are we doing this? Can't we all just get along?"
The army looked back at the couple with shimmering eyes. For a second, Pent thought that their message had gone through.
Then Rebecca pointed at Erk once again claiming her same excuse. "He still started it."
Pent, Louise, Canas and Dorcas rolled their eyes. Throwing up their hands in defeat, the too walked numbly away from the battlefield, and let Rebecca and Erk go at each other's throats. As they walked past Jessica's tent, they heard the tactician clear her throat.
"Hey guys, get in here for a second." The tactician whispered.
The foursome walked into the tactician's tent and looked quizzically at her. Jessica wore a mischievous grin and had a map out in front of her.
"Umm…Jessica?" Dorcas said quietly. "What's going on?"
"Just a little game." Jessica said. "It's time those pathetic fools outside learned to work as a team."
"Err…how are you going to do that?" Canas asked. "You haven't been successful in the past."
"True, but in the past, I tried to get them to work together in battle." Jessica. "I think we're gonna try something different this time."
"Huh?" Louise said. "Run that by me again?"
Jessica unfurled her map and laid it out on the table in front of her. "Look, do you know this place?" She asked pointing to somewhere close to their current location.
"The Etruria-Lycia border?" Pent asked.
"No, not the border, the mountain range." Jessica said.
"Oh, yeah." Louise said. "What about them?"
"Do you know about a place called Silent Springs?" Jessica asked.
"You mean the tourist town?" Pent asked. "Yeah, it's beautiful in the springtime where the wild flowers are in bloom and the spring birds are out. Why?"
"I think a vacation would be nice." Jessica said. "I was thinking about Silent Springs."
"Wait…we're trying to stop the destruction of humanity and you're going to take a vacation?" Dorcas asked.
"Sorta." Jessica said. "We have Nils and Ninian. As far as I know, Nergal can't do whatever the hell he wants to do without the two. So if we disappear off the face of the earth for a bit, Nergal can't do anything but wait."
"He could try to look for us." Canas said.
"Yeah, with who!" Jessica retorted. "The Four Fangs are dead, Sonia's dead, the Black Fang's as good as gone, Nergal's dry right now. All he can do is wait for us to show ourselves."
"Sounds iffy to me." Pent said. "And how exactly do you suppose this will get our motley crew to work together? Plus it's winter right now. Silent Springs is as cold as Ilia."
"Ahh, that's where my evil genius comes into play." Jessica said smiling wickedly. The four gathered around her listened intently as Jessica explained late into the night the details of her plot. The more they listened, the wider their evil smiles grew.
In the morning, the army sobered down. Jessica threatened Merlinus with extreme bodily harm if he gave out any coffee, so the entire army was too tired to argue. As they moved on, Jessica, along with Pent and Louise slyly turned the army off course bit by bit, until they were headed straight into the wilderness. Everyone else was too tired to notice.
Winter in Silent Springs was indeed as cold as Ilia, but it's natural hot springs still provided enough warmth to it's inhabitants, or lack thereof. The official population of Silent Springs was a grand total of twenty-six. It was a strict tourist town whose only inhabitants did the best they could to keep visitors happy during the busy spring and fall seasons.
Located half-way up the tallest peak in the Trans-Continental Range that stood between Lycia and Etruria, Silent Springs was nestled in a small nook where a natural hot springs surfaced. It's founders were a group of merchant families who settled in the region to make a lucrative tourist business. It was an extremely tiny settlement. There was one very large inn with accommodations for hundreds of people. One rather large restaurant with it's own middle sized farm stood next to the Inn. Across from the Inn, the hot springs lay open to the public twenty-four hours a day. Next to the hot springs, was the general store that sold day-to-day necessities such as food and clothing for the meager inhabitants and souvenirs for the tourists. Next to the store, a small system of roads leading to individual residences spread into the mountains. Along the way, there was a temple to St. Elimine and a tiny schoolyard for the children of the inhabitants. A small police station stood to the other side of the school. As the road moves further up, many hiking trails spread into the pristine wilderness.
On the other side of the inn, there was a town square for gatherings and the entrance to the town. A modest sign hung on a frame around the road leading into and out of town. On the sign the words "Silent Springs" were written in light colors followed by "Paradise in the middle of Nowhere" in small print under it.
Since it was the winter season, the inn was entirely empty. The innkeeper hung around the bar cleaning a few dusty glasses. During the winter season, the entire town went into the lazy season. The children went back to school, and the shopkeeper closed the main store and set up a stand outside her shop. The restaurant chef closed her main building off and began to stockpile her harvests.
Even the priest and police took the time off. With a mere 26 inhabitants, it wasn't that hard to catch someone if anything was stolen. Needless to say, being the biggest, warmest, and easiest place to get a drink, everyone basically convened at the inn for basically the entire day.
Charlie looked up after setting aside his clean glasses to see the shopkeeper, the restaurant owner it's chef walking in through the door. He smiled at the tree sisters and took out three glasses.
"Slow day?" Charlie asked with a smile.
"Oh shut up Chuckles." The oldest sister said. "Just give us the sauce."
The cheery innkeeper chuckled as he poured the drinks. He was a tall man, seventeen years old. He had short black hair and wore a pair of old bent glasses.
Charlie finished pouring the drinks and placed the classes on the counter. The three guests quickly took up their drinks with a smile and began sipping the intoxicating drink. Charlie found it amusing that the shopkeeper and the restaurant's owner and its chef were all sisters. The oldest among them, Sonia, was a short, but pretty girl of 22 years. She had black-brown locks tied back behind her head in a ponytail at all times. After her, came the restaurant's owner, Lulu. She was the second oldest at 21. Her hair was usually loose around her head. She was a bit taller than her older sister, sometimes moody, and almost always drunk. The third sister was a meek girl of 18 years named Fae. She was an excellent cook, but was extremely shy. She never showed her face in public without blushing and never drank knowingly. The fact that her sisters tended to spike her drink because Fae did crazy things while drunk was another thing. Charlie frowned disapprovingly as he saw Lulu trying to slip something into Fae's drink again.
"So, having a party?" Another voice came from the door. Charlie looked up and saw the towns one and only police force, Kiyoko walk in. "Is it private or can anybody join?" She asked.
"Heh, not at all. What'll you have?" Charlie asked.
"Rum, and make sure it's not from Ilia this time Chawee." Kiyoko said.
Charlie laughed and poured the girl her drink. Kiyoko was a young girl of 14 with waist-length hair. She amazingly had the highest alcohol tolerance of anybody in the town. Charlie never liked the fact that Kiyoko was also underage, but ever since Kiyoko nearly sliced his head off for giving her the notoriously weak Ilian Rum a weak earlier, he knew better than to question her orders again.
"My my, what have we here?" another voice came just as Charlie served Kiyoko.
"Father Brian! Come in!" Charlie and the girls said. Sonia and Lulu were already slurring their speech a bit.
"What'll it be Father?" Charlie asked.
"Just water please." Brian said. "I don't like alcohol that much."
Charlie nodded and poured him a cup. The priest of the town was a thin man of 18. He wore glasses like Charlie and was never seen without his scepter. It was his precious.
As Charlie looked around, he poured himself a cup of water and joined his friends in their chatter.
"So, what's new?" Charlie asked.
"It's winter CharChar." Lulu replied. "NOTHING'S ever new in the winter."
"Well, I did see a bit of smoke in the distance." Sonia said.
"That's not saying much sis." Lulu said. "We can see quite a distance from up here. That smoke could be from just down the mountain, or a hundred miles from here."
"That's true." Sonia said downing her drink and holding her cup out for Charlie to refill.
"Well…" Fae squeaked. "I counted our food stores…we'll have more than enough to carry us through spring, plus Kramer promised to help out with the crops next year."
Kramer was the assistant at the restaurant. Almost everyone with eyes also knew that Kramer had a mad crush on Fae as well.
"Right, is it really the crops, or something else?" Lulu asked smiling knowingly. Fae blushed and looked down. Charlie smacked Lulu and poured Fae another soda.
"Well…" Brian said. "Karen is about to give birth." In addition to being the priest, Brian was also the town doctor. Karen was one of the schoolteachers. She had been pregnant with her first child for a while.
Everyone cheered at the news. That's when Charlie looked out the window and noticed something was wrong.
"Umm…did any one of you piss off a Marquess or something?" He asked.
His friends looked at him as if he had gone mad.
"Umm, no." Sonia replied. "Why?"
Charlie pointed out the window into the town square. "Because if I'm not mistaken, that's Lord Hector of Ostia in the middle there, followed by Lord Eliwood of Pherae and Lady Lyndis of Caelin. And unless I'm seeing things, that mass of people behind them is part of an army."
The group gathered immediately turned and looked out the window at the advancing surge of people walking into the courtyard. Immediately, everyone tensed up.
"What's going on?" Brian asked.
"You tell me." Charlie said. "Are we being invaded?"
"Doubt it, but come on, lets go see what they want." Kiyoko said, drawing her cloak around her. A glint of a dagger showed.
Charlie nodded. From a hidden shelf behind his displays of various alcohols, he pulled out an ornate sword. The three sisters soon had their weapons ready as well, a bow for Sonia, a lance for Lulu and a fire tome for Fae, all retrieved from secret hidey-holes in Charlie's inn. The six were also secretly a meager security force against any wander bandit groups. It wasn't much, but they didn't usually have to deal with much. Brian held his healing stave and a lightning tome. The six friends walked out cautiously.
Jessica looked around the town hall into the barren settlement.
"Jeez, when they SAY middle of nowhere, the MEAN middle of nowhere. This place is as empty as Bartre's head." She said under her breath.
Around her, the people who heard her chuckled lightly as Bartre glared furiously at Jessica, not knowing what she said, but knowing that she insulted him. Jessica shrugged him and led the group further into the village.
The members of Eliwood's Elite were excited when Jessica announced that they were getting a vacation. But as they crawled upwards into the cold, many began getting second thoughts. But one look at Jessica's cold eyes caused any dissenters to immediately shut up and fall in.
Then, six armed people suddenly jumped from the inn, taking defensive stances. Jessica laughed. She realized that her storming in with forty-three armed people wasn't exactly the smartest thing she did.
"Stop, state your business." The man directly in front of her with a sword said.
"Wait!" Jessica said. "No, it's a misunderstanding. We're here to spend a few days on vacation from a long journey."
The man lightened up a bit but still held firm. From another corner, a girl with a bow who had miraculously jumped onto a torch-stave post spoke out.
"Then why with the weapons?" She asked.
"Well…" Jessica said calmly. "We're an army. We just wanna rest a few days. Please?"
Charlie looked at the girl in front of him. "Okay, but any funny business and you're out of here."
The army was then led into the inn where everyone was able to stash their weapons, but not without the occasional poke here and jab there. While the army put their things away, Jessica snuck away to her welcoming party and tried to explain the situation.
"Hey, sorry about earlier." The man said. "We're just not used to seeing people in the winter."
Jessica shivered despite the layers she had on. "I understand. Listen, I've got a problem about the rooming."
"Yes?" The man said. "Oh I'm sorry." He held out his hands. "I'm Charlie. I'm the innkeeper around here." He then turned to his friends and pointed them out one by one. "This is Brian, he's the priest at our church here. That's Kiyoko, she's in charge of security. This here is Sonia, she runs the shop across the street to you right. That's her sister Lulu who owns the restaurant next door, and that's their youngest sister Fae who cooks in that restaurant."
Jessica nodded her head. "I'm Jessica. I'm the tactician for this army. It's technically led by Lord Eliwood of Pherae and his friends Lord Hector and Lady Lyndis, but I give most of the orders during battle."
"Pleasure." Charlie said. "So…what was your problem."
"Well, you see…" Jessica said. "I have forty something people."
"That's no problem…" Charlie said. "I have hundreds of roo-"
"That's not the problem." Jessica said. "The problem is that I need 18 single bed rooms and one large suite to fit five. Is that possible?"
"Umm, yeah." Charlie said. "Why?"
"Well…" Jessica said and proceeded to explain her problem.
At the end of her story, Charlie was trying to suppress a chuckle and Sonia, Lulu and Kiyoko had to go outside because they were laughing so hard.
"Do you think it'll work?" Charlie asked.
"If I need to ask you to turn off the heat I will." Jessica said.
"Okay, your funeral." Charlie said. "I'll give you rooms 201-221. Rooms 219-221 are connected so you guys can open them to accommodate five."
Jessica smiled. "Thank you."
"No problem." Charlie said. He then went over to the reception desk and brought out a huge stack of marked keys. Jessica thanked him and walked back over to her army.
Sonia, Lulu and Kiyoko came in soon after still chuckling.
"Hehe, so, do you think it's gonna work?" Lulu asked.
"I dunno." Charlie said. "But it's gonna be an interesting few days. Better get back to your posts. We can expect them to be in an uproar in a bit and I don't want us to seem like conspirators."
His friends nodded and left him to his work. He knew that they would be opening their respective services to these tourists as well. However, before Kiyoko left, Charlie grabbed her by the shoulder.
"Hey Kiyo." He said.
"Yar?" Kiyoko asked turning around.
"Keep an eye out." Charlie said. "You know what Jessica said about infighting. Keep the kids and the citizens safe k?"
Kiyoko nodded curtly. "Of course." And then she was gone. Charlie went over the reception desk and listened calmly to the exchanges between the tactician and her army.
"Okay." Jessica said. "I have here, keys for us. Everyone here will be doubling up, except for me." Jessica said.
"What! Why?" Hector asked. "There's enough rooms here!"
"Because." Jessica said. "I'm not rich. Now, I'm in 221, Pent and Louise are in 220, and Canas and Dorcas are going to be in 219."
The mentioned pairs went up and took their keys, aware of Jessica's ploy.
"Okay…next up." Jessica said. "Erk and Rebecca, 201"
Erk and Rebecca stared in disgust at their tactician before taking their keys and storming off up the stairs to their room. Shouting could be heard before they even reached the doors.
"Karla and Raven, 202." Jessica continued calmly.
The swordmaster and the hero choked as they looked at each other. Karla had hated Raven for trying to focus on axes as much as swords. Raven just hated Karla for being so bloody arrogant. The two fought their way up the stairs as well."
As Jessica read out the remaining names, everyone groaned in disgust. Nobody got to be with whom he or she wanted to be with, except for a few people who wanted something from their bunkmates.
"Karel and Priscilla, 203"
"Wil and Farina, 204"
"Kent and Serra, 205"
"Fiora and Dart, 206"
"Matthew and Jaffar, 207"
"Sain and Florina, 208"
"Lyn and Heath, 209"
"Hector and Vaida, 210"
"Geitz and Isadora, 211"
"Lucius and Bartre, 212"
"Merlinus and Marcus, 213"
"Lowen and Nino, 214"
"Hawkeye and Nils, 215"
"Oswin and Rath, 216"
"Guy and Ninian, 217"
"Eliwood and Legault, 218"
Jessica finished reading as everyone stormed up to their rooms. Either someone wasn't happy about his or her own bunk, or they weren't happy about someone else's bunk. Lyn was fuming at Jessica for placing Florina away from her. Hector was furious that Jessica put him with a suspicious character like Vaida, and Matthew threatened to slice Jessica's head off after he sliced Jaffar's head off. Jaffar told Lowen subtly that if his lance using hands touched Nino in any way, he would personally see to it that he hung from the tallest window in the building.
Jessica just calmly told people to get their butts moving. She then strolled over to Charlie where Pent and Louise were already waiting for her.
"So, what now?" Pent asked.
"Well, you see." Jessica said. "Some of the rooms are designed to have people get an appreciation for the person they're bunking with. Others are for some people to have respect for the person who's bunking with their best friends."
"Do you think it'll work?" Charlie asked.
"I don't know." Jessica said. "But with a week or two here, I'm sure tensions would cool down. The stupid cliques in our army would go away, and I'm sure we'll have a few romances here and there too." Jessica grinned.
"You were planning that weren't you?" Charlie asked.
"Well, umm… yeah." Jessica said smiling.
"Heh, we'll see then." Charlie said.
Upstairs, Erk and Rebecca glared at each other from across the single bed in the tiny room.
"Okay, listen up." Rebecca said. "I don't like this, and you don't like this. We're outta here in a week or two."
"As far as I'm concerned, I only see you during nights and in the mornings." Rebecca continued.
"Yes." Erk said again.
"Okay, we take turns on the bed, and you stay out of my things, ESPECIALLY my diary, and I'll leave you alone." Rebecca said.
"Agreed." Erk said.
"Good…I don't know what Jessica's planning." Rebecca snarled. "But I am not getting buddy-buddy with a damn arrogant mage."
"Likewise with an inferior sniper." Erk sneered back.
The two then turned their backs to each other and began unpacking.
Charlie: Long, and weirdish, I know, but it should get better. The pairings are randomly generated. Not everyone's gonna fall in love. Other's are just gonna be friends. Anyways, I have some funny gags for when Jessica and her group of conspirators start playing pranks on their favorite couples. Well, hope you liked that, I'll have next chappy up as soon as I can.