BandGeek99: Hey, everybody! Guess what? I'm not dead yet! I've just been hiding under my little rock writing Fullmetal Alchemist fiction and watching Death Note like a maniac. *smiles innocently*
The Deimon Commander From Hell: WHERE THE HELL DID YOU COME FROM, ARUYO?
Depthmon: …dude. You were the one who asked her to write the fic.
TDCFH: *blinks* Oh, that's right, aru. *holds up Devil's Handbook* That didn't just happen.
BG99: Please, let's keep all the authors alive for ten minutes, for once…
Depthmon: But what's an author's note without a little bit of murder?
BG99: Safe, that's what.
TDCFH: As much as I hate admitting it, aru, she's got a point. I can't kill either of you until this fic is done, aruyo.
BG99: That's right, Digi-Fiction nation! :D This is a COLLAB FIC between The Deimon Commander from Hell, Depthmon, and myself! TDCFH has already posted his part as I publish this, so go read that, too. Depthmon's should be out within the next couple of weeks.
Reviews on all three author's stories are appreciated. They all focus on different characters, all the while everything goes down in all three stories.
TDCFH: We don't own Digimon, aru. We just enjoy messing with the characters, aruyo.
Depthmon: That being said, don't sue, because none of us have the money to pay for a lawsuit.
BG99: This whole idea was concocted by the Deimon Commander himself. All credit for the premise goes to him.
As for the way Tobias refers to his parents… I just… It just kinda happened that way. I call my mom "Mam" sometimes because of my lazy, lazy dialect, and we call my great-uncle Pa instead of his actual name. I just kinda liked it this way and it stuck.
Also: For whatever reason, I imagine this kinda steampunk-y. So Victorian Era style, I guess. Maybe. Ehh, I dunno anymore.
Reviews, critique, etc are, as always, muchly appreciated! Please enjoy and stick around for future chapters!
The Imperial Armada is a bloodthirsty country. I am unashamed to say this, regardless of my citizenship and begrudging allegiance. Their warships are killing machines, built bigger and stronger and faster and deadlier each time we discover more ways to slaughter. While some people might obsess over cars nowadays, the citizens of the Armada obsessed over tanks. A boy or girl on the schoolyard might decide that growing up to be a doctor or a teacher is boring—they want to join the military and save the country.
The Parlt River battle was one of the largest conflicts during the entirety of this war. It was under the previous Czar's rule, Czar James Walters, and was a surprise ambush onto Federation territory. It was this battle that would destroy families, livelihoods, and homes.
How, you wonder? Well. How about I tell you a story?
One upon a time, there was a little boy named Toby. Toby's family had lived on the outskirts of the Armada's territory for decades. The border there had hardly changed at all. They had a farm where the forest met the Parlt River and made a living raising and selling crops and livestock. Toby's father and mother knew of the war carrying on with the Federation, but never dreamed that their family would be dragged into it more-so than they already were.
Toby had two older brothers, Radcliffe and Grint. The two of them decided that they didn't want to live on a farm in the boonies for their entire lives and left to gain some glory and get in on the action by joining the military. They didn't really hear from them much for the next three years or so. Toby was only eight when they left, but he could remember that his mother and father were torn up about it. To them, he guessed, it seemed like they wanted nothing to do with their parents or brother anymore. He just didn't understand what was happening.
Then, out of the blue, Radcliffe sent them a letter on April seventeenth.
Dearest Mam, Pa, and my darling demon brother Toby,
I just found out that we're going to be stationed in Brookdale, just a town over from you guys! Figured I should let you know now so that when I show up, Mam doesn't die of a heart attack. And so that Toby doesn't run at me screaming obscenities that Grint taught him. (You don't honestly think he learned any of those words from me, do you? I'm the good son here!)
I was just recently promoted, too! I'm now a second lieutenant. Grint's still a sergeant, he's kind of mad that I totally blew past him. He'll catch up, though, I'm sure of it.
Toby, if you know what's good for you, you'll never, ever join the army. Got it? Stay home and be a farmer. It's a regular sausage-fest out here, we barely get a chance to talk to any girls. Or, well, any cute ones that don't own a gun. (Snipers are scary, scary women when they're angry. You never know when they're gonna take a shot at you while you're asleep in your barracks, a creepy thought.)
I don't really have a lot of time, so I'm gonna have to wrap up now. I love you all. And so does Grint, even though he's too damn lazy to write a letter of his own.
I'll see you soon! Keep your eyes peeled for the 8th Squadron!
Sure enough, just as he'd written it, Toby's brothers were stationed in less than a fortnight a town away. The first weekend they were there, they went out of their way to stop by, visiting with Mam and Pa and entertaining the boy with stories from the city. They didn't stay for longer than two hours, but it was one of the few happy memories with them that their little brother had.
Actually, it was the last happy memory he had involving his entire family.
It only took two weeks, but once it began, it began. The Federation troops marched right for the borders, and, of course, Toby's farm. There wasn't really any way that the family could have gotten away; the car was a piece of shit, and the journey to the nearest "safe" area was far too long and crossed too many mountains to take a cattle-drawn wagon or something. Besides, Mam and Pa decided they wouldn't leave the farm, no matter what, and decided that Toby would be safer with them than anywhere else.
The war stayed away for a while, remaining mostly as skirmishes to the west of the farm. The family didn't worry too much, continuing on with their daily lives, until the Imperial 4th Division marched to the edge of the Parlt River, on the other side of the bridge, and set up camp.
Toby's Mam and Pa were worried. They hadn't expected the war to come so close to the farm. However, the commander of the squad that was stationed at the water's edge assured them that they would be safe, that having a group of soldiers on the Parlt River, so close to the border, was just a precaution.
Pa didn't believe that for one minute and did everything but pack up his wife and son, leaving the farm to fend for itself. He planned a getaway, just in case the fighting came closer and their lives were in jeopardy.
That day came far sooner than anyone in the small family was expecting. Not even six days after the assurance from the commander, a single cannon fire was heard before all hell broke loose on the farm. Soldiers from both sides came dangerously close to the house. Three days went on and the fighting only escalated. Federation troops had begun taking down anyone in their path and Tobias' parents feared that they would be next, and so grabbed their young son and hid in the root cellar. There, they thought, they would be safe.
This false hope lasted them merely an hour. A small group of enemy troops had invaded the house, knowing full well that someone was inside, as they had not seen hide nor hair of Tobias' father that morning, when he should have been running to town to pick up fresh groceries or something of the like. The house didn't have very many hiding places in the long run, not any place big enough to hide two full-grown adults and a child. The cellar was the last place they checked, and found the family cowering.
"You're coming with us," a soldier said, smirking darkly. "We will give you no chance to send word to your precious military. We have no reason to let you live; this is Federation territory now."
Two other soldiers grasped Tobias' parents firmly and forced them up the cellar stairs as the first grabbed Toby's wrist and yanked him up the stairs, following his fellow soldiers' example.
The family was led outside and to the far end of the barn, where as they drew closer, they could see a large pile of the Imperial Armada's uniforms, as well as two sacks hanging from tree branches. Tobias was curious as to what they were doing there.
Upon closer inspection however, he noticed that they were not sacks hanging from the tree. The two somethings were his elder brothers, not long dead. A noose had been secured around each of their necks. He stopped in his tracks, letting out a terrified whimper.
"Move, boy." The soldier who had taken a grip on his arm shoved him forward, causing the small boy to stumble.
By this time, Mam and Pa had noticed that it was Radcliffe and Grint strung up on the old oak branches. They also realized that the pile of uniforms was a pile of deceased Imperial soldiers. They screamed for Tobias to run and yanked themselves away from the two soldiers holding them captive, taking off for the far end of the farm.
Two shots. Two shots was all it took. As if in a dream, Tobias heard the deafening cracks of gunfire, watched helplessly as two speeding bullets implanted themselves in his mother and father's heads. The Federation really wasn't kidding around, were they, he thought bitterly.
It took him all of five seconds to register what had just happened and for his instincts to kick in. Tobias knew he had to run away and make it to the other side of the Laws Bridge. It was the only bridge that crossed the Parlt for a good fifty miles in either direction. On the other side of that bridge were two things: town and Imperial soldiers. If he could get word to them, then everything would be alright.
Federation soldiers, not finding it difficult to gather what he was thinking, chased after him, armed to the teeth as though he were a deadly assassin instead of an eleven-year-old farm boy.
Tobias ran. He didn't know where he was going. He didn't know what he would do once he got there. He knew that he needed to get away, his parents had told him to get away, he had to tell the army, they needed to know…! He pumped his arms harder and sped off as fast as his thin legs could take him, flying towards the forest. A sudden thought occurred to him: what if he had to swim the river? It stood to reason that the Federation's troops would know that he was running for his life, probably going to alert the Armada's militia on the other side of the Parlt. It was certain they'd collapse the bridge. Their numbers were already dwindling severely, and Tobias could only guess the number of dead soldiers on the Armada's end of things.
He bolted through the forest, somehow managing to reach the river's edge with only a few throbbing cuts on his ankles and arms. Around the bend in the river to the North, he could just barely see a man scrambling onto the bridge. Judging from his uniform, Tobias assumed him to be a Federation commander of some kind, a captain or a major, perhaps. Fearing the worst, Toby threw himself into the river. If the man blew up the bridge, then all of the debris would flow downstream, and that would certainly hinder his escape.
Paddling helplessly for all he was worth, Toby was able to dog paddle to the other end of the river in time to see the Federation man light an explosive. His eyes wide, he watched the strong wood-and-iron bridge fall to pieces in a flash of light, then ran away towards where he knew the road to town was at the other end of the forest.
It was too much. He'd watched too much in the past hour than any boy his age should ever have to see in their entire life.
He found the nearest squadron of soldiers and, screaming and sobbing, demanded that they do something about the Federation troops on his family's farm. The commander of the group sneered at him and told him to, and I quote, "Bugger off and find someone who cares".
Tobias was distraught. An entire squadron of the Armada's 4th Division was dead, along with his mother and father and his brothers. At the edge of the river, he could see smoke drifting above the trees where he knew his family's property was. The fields had been set on fire, as well as the house. There would be nothing left.
It was that day, six years and four months ago, that Tobias lost all faith in his country and saw it for what it really was: a war-hungry monster.
Fast forward a bit. Toby is now seventeen, two months away from his eighteenth birthday and the inevitable draft. He lives in the nation's capital, a port city on the Eastern Coast of the Imperial Armada, and dreams of roaming the seas, finding new places far away from his bloodthirsty nation. He's a decent cook, but has zero people skills. His focus and intelligence earned him a scholarship to a prestigious academy, where he's in the same year and most classes of Hikari Ikari, the only daughter of Czar Katsutoshi Ikari. He has few close friends, the only one worth mentioning: Matt Ishida, son of one of the Czar's guard from an Imperial territory to the distant east.
Tobias had two months left of his youth, and then he was to be drafted to fight in a seemingly unnecessary war, a war that served no purpose to the citizens of the Federation or to the Armada.
How do I happen to know all this, you wonder?
My name is Tobias Daniels.
And this is where it all began.
Bah. War. How I cannot write it.
Yeah, Toby's an OC. I promise that the next chapter will have some Hikari in it :) Yaaay, someone you all know! *cheers*
Like I said before, reviews and critique are loved. They will help me make it through the first week (er... two days...) of school this week!
Thanks for reading, go read TDCFH's and Depthmon's parts, once they're both up!
Love and cookies from a sunny little-out-of-the-way-place-that-nobody-goes boonie town in the sticks,