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Writing Dogarta [M-LV]


Vicky
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[SIZE=1]Firstly, the story is long, and I did intend to put it in an attachment for format purposes, but OB is being wank and won't let me do that no matter what I try =/. Ah well.

Secondly, comments are GREATLY apperciated. I think I've posted this before, but this is the newest version, and anything that is said would really, really help. Also, I have not checked this for mistakes. I only do that when I've finished because if I read through it, I wince and think it's terrible, and stop before it's completed. Bad habit of somewhat shitty self esteem.

Finally, hope you like it. Crap formatting, but eh, I can't help it =([/SIZE]

[B][CENTER]Dogarta:[/B]

Part One[/CENTER]

[SIZE=1][1:1]

Welcome to the World.

[align=justify]Darkness is not the absence of light; it is the absence of life. It is completely coldness, not sight in front of your eyes. You're deaf, you're dumb, you're blind, you're weightless, you're numb but you're not free. You're lacking everything that can make you move or help you define whether your blind eyes are open or closed, whether you're dead and remembering or alive and dreaming. When it's dark, nothing is certain, except the fact that you cannot do anything to move yourself from the void. There is only one true thing you can do and that is to avoid darkness at all costs, physically and mentally.

Temptation doesn't lead to darkness, that's just a law made up to keep people under control. It is the abuse of dark desires that will, ultimately, lead you into darkness. Imagine that darkness is death. Imagine that only the strongest will survive in this world, imagine that the weak will perish and give up because they don't have the will power to keep themselves away from such tempting desires that seem so brilliant yet are, indeed, as void as darkness itself. Now, imagine a world where the weak are constantly in darkness. This is where your life would be without myself and the forgotten human origins.

Over four thousand years ago those who lived in the light and were strong enough to stand up and not be swayed by void temptations gave enough of their life to grant you wings so that you can be free. You shouldn't forget your origins. These people are an example to what you should be.

Only the strongest shall survive to protect the weak, so that the weak may live and survive. Only the strongest can fight against the void so that the weak will never have to face such horrors.

There is no excuse. There is no comfort in faith. There is no miracle. There is only the fact that you should lay down your life for the weakest. Moments are lost but eternity awaits for those who are still proud of who they are, who don't fear the void and will stand against it when their saviour does not show up this time.

I am not eternal. I will not be here for you next time. There is no excuse.

*[B]Kovar[/B]



The hall was dancing with lights, filled with an unfamiliar buzzing, screams and whistles from the crowd. The room itself stretched for what seemed like miles, people packed into it, crowds at the front near a stage and some others converging in the middle of the hall. The crowd would hold any item they had in their pockets that gave off light, such as glow-sticks, lighters and discarded technology that still had a flicker of energy in it.

You couldn't hear your own thoughts in this place because the sound that erupted from the stage was formidable. It was considered a crime against society, the music played on the stage. In fact, because of it's emotional nature, music had been banned some two hundred years ago on Xorphia. For two hundred years the tradition survived, in secret most of the time and in it's most violent, aggressive forms. Those who hated it labelled it as anti-social, dark, twisted rock? those who loved it gave it no name at all.

The performers consisted of nine people, amazingly. They all played a variety of instruments, such as custom-made guitars and drums, combining them to make the loudest, most flowing sound they could make. It worked like a charm; the crowd were all over them. Aside from the members playing the instrument, there was also an interesting singer who was keen on snarl, growling and hissing rather than singing like he was supposed to.

A long time fan of music, what little of it was left, happened to be Dogarta. Due to his size he couldn't see stood up, so he sat at the back on one of the speakers, legs crossed and a smile on his pale, young face. He was dressed in his normal attire, a plain white shirt with a black tie and a pair of torn, rough black trousers. The Outskirts had no place for formality, and a suit wasn't even considered formal, so he wore it. His hair wasn't long, nor was it short, it fell down over his ears and sometimes his icy blue eyes. Red hair, dark red, not really ginger, more of a red colour than anything else. Another thing he was proud of.

He would get in so much trouble simply for being the Outskirts. In Xorphian society, the apparent traitors and throwbacks of the species would flee to the Outskirts, effectively turning a dark city into their home with no means of technology like the high-class International cities. Since the International that ran most of Xorphia claimed to run by Kovar's Law, they couldn't kill any member of their species without good enough reason. Any 'traitor' was permitted to live, but any high-class boy, like Dogarta, suspecting of converting to the Outskirts was liable for punishment.

That was just why Dogarta, son of a powerful Lawyer in a city right next door to the Outskirts, hated the International. The International had formed almost instantly when the Xorphians became comfortable with their new home, this new Government enforced rules that helped society run much smoother but in time? they failed. Corruption is always a cliché for a Government but this wasn't corruption, just misunderstanding. They interrupted Kovar's Law wrongly and caused havoc. Music was banned because it influenced the young. Poetry was banned. World-wide sporting competitions were banned. Acting was banned. Anyone who did these things were breaking the law, they were considered outcasts and therefore fled to the Outskirts. Xorphians had ignored Kovar's sacred rule; they were dead.

Now Kovar? oh, he was an interesting man indeed. According to legend, almost a millennia ago Kovar was a international hero on a distant planet called Earth. He had led the humans through a harsh time and he was able to save them once again. When humanity went through what textbooks call 'the Third Stage of Human Evolution' Kovar guided a chosen few from their dying planet to a new system, which would eventually be Xorphia. He gave them rules, stayed awhile to help build a civilisation and left. The International was formed after, effectively starting the calendars again. Now Xorphia was, according to the International, in the year 4059. Kovar was never seen again.

Yet he was an inspiration and a true hero. Many didn't believe what he had wrote down but Dogarta did. Dogarta was sure what Kovar, wherever he was, was right and was determined to live up to that man. A smile crept on Dogarta's face when the song finished, final song of the night. The crowd stood silent for a moment, the lights flickered out, a ground breaking applause erupted throughout the room. Whistling, cheering, clapping? the three on stage gave a small bow, one of them shouted a thank you, and Dogarta joined in with the celebration.

It wasn't long when the lights started to fill the room again and the large crowd packed tightly to the front of the stage started to move out. Dogarta, giving a satisfied sigh, leapt down from his place atop the speakers and blended into the crowd. The people were very friendly, new faces he had never seen before patted him on the shoulder and nodded politely; saying brief hello's and brief comments about the concert. Dogarta merely smiled at them all enthusiastically and nodded back.

He entered the corridors that led to the outside and followed the crowds, the numbers were decreasing. As Dogarta neared the exit there was a whistling from behind him. He turned, looked, and saw two men leaning against the wall of the corridor, both incredibly tall dressed in suits, though that didn't hide their lack of funds. The unshaven faces and scruffy hair gave that away.

"Hey Dog Boy, over here!" shouted the tallest man, standing up right. "I have a surprise for you!" he added on. Dogarta pushed back through the crowds, fully aware he was in the wrong direction and thus causing an inconvenience. He arrived at his two friends, Staan and Zurviel.

"Good time?" asked Dogarta with a smile.

Staan, the tallest, laughed and put his hand on Dogarta's shoulder. "Yeah. You'd be wanting passes to the next gig, right?" he asked, hot breath on Dogarta's face. "This gig'll be the best. We'll meet you at Enuba's Statue."

"Err, no, see I can't borrow any more money and I need to put this back in my father's - "

"Of course you do!" Staan cut him off. "C'mon, Dog, you're going to let this one go just because you're not allowed here? That didn't stop you this time. Shouldn't stop you next time. And if you're not going to get caught then you won't need to explain, if you don't explain then your father will never understand how far he's gone from the true ways of Xorphia." Staan pointed to the ceiling as if they were the stars. "What do you say?"

"Staan, I can't." Dogarta breathed. "This money in my pocket has to be back in my father's desk or I'll get in so much trouble?" he trailed off, "I'm sorry, Staan."

Zurviel laughed with Staan. "Ha. Told you. He wasn't worth it." Zurviel snarled.

"I was!" Dogarta protested.

"Then prove it." Staan took a golden ticket out of his pocket, he waved it in Dogarta's face, tempting him. "Money now. Ticket now. It's so simple. Are you a politician up there with the dead guys, or a real, fighting machine with at least some form of passion that keeps him alive? Besides, Dog, I'm not giving you a choice. Next concert. You'll be there." Staan pushed the ticket into Dogarta's hand, satisfied by the fear he saw on his face, and reached into the young boy's pocket, pulling out all of his money.

"Hey Dog, that's what friends are for." Zurviel said, ending with a laugh. Dogarta, eyes cast downwards, just nodded and murmured in agreement before walking away.

He shuffled through the crowds and kept his eyes down all the way, hands in his pockets, icy blue eyes on the floor. He stopped when nearing the exit, a cold harsh wind hitting his face followed by drips of hard water. Shrugging his collar up a bit more, he proceeded out into the rain. It lashed down on him fiercely, no mercy at all. It collected in the streets, in the gutters, flooding the already destroyed parts of the Outskirts. Others, those who lived in the Outskirts, were on their way home, barely being touched by the rain, while Dogarta was forced to have his red hair stuck to his forehead by an unruly weather climate in the Outskirts.

The night was dark, yet there were stars in the sky, always stars. No matter where you were, the City or the Outskirts, Xorphia made sure there were stars. It was something Kovar dictated. The stars were a symbol of hope, a symbol that meant you shouldn't give up because the furthest star will always be furthest away, so you had to keep going, even if you would never reach it. A good philosophy, Dogarta thought, thought he was too much of a coward himself to try it out. Too much of a push over to have his own life; he had to let others rule it.

He slipped slightly on the sidewalk, into a puddle of water, sighing as he did so. Pathetic, that's what he was. He hated most things; his life, the rain, the world, the Xoprhians who lacked compassion that their dead leader valued so much. Kovar wouldn't be proud of the Xorphians anymore. At least he shouldn't have been angry at Zurviel or Staan, they weren't very good people but they were getting there. Reverting back to the old ways like everyone else in the Outskirts would eventually do.

He came to a bridge, barely visible from the lack of light, but he knew exactly where it went. The bridge was somewhat like a portal; it separated the Outskirts from the City. Once you crossed it, you entered into the City's world, technology controlled the weather, the climate was always perfect, never too harsh and never too soft. It was a completely controlled environment, and that's why people form the Outskirts never went to the City and why people from the City were never allowed into the Outskirts.

He crossed over the bridge and nearly slipped on the wet stones, eventually finding his footing again when he crossed through the threshold. The rain had stopped pouring on his head and the ground was softer, that was the only difference in the environment so far. Ahead there were buildings, millions of them, glass ones of all colours and all height squashed together with only a few roads in between. Even at night the City was alive with lights. It wasn't appealing to Dogarta at all.

Sighing, he jogged forward with his hands in his pocket towards the city. Hopefully his father wasn't home yet, he would go crazy seeing Dogarta getting home this late. Not to mention the rain would give away where he had been. When he got into the depth of the City, underneath all the tall buildings, he felt the few people that walked past looking at him. A lot of people knew who Dogarta was, he had a criminal record (though Dogarta didn't class them as crimes) and his father, Murphy D.L., was a Governor. Dogarta looked down at the floor and tried not to make eye contact with anyone, trying to forget the fact that they were there and he was back in the City.

He came to the end of the long row of buildings, away from the skyscrapers there were the houses, situated neatly between fields and trees. Dogarta's home was behind a few other's, the largest one in the area, not surprising since his father was a very important man. He negotiated his way between the other houses, careful not to go anywhere near their land, until he came to the gates of his own home. He snuck through the large silver gates, trying to close them without much noise, and ran up the stone stairs to the front of his house. When reaching the door he did the same as he did with the gates, opening it with as much silence as possible.

The hall, first room of the house, was empty and dark, although the outline of the stairs and other large, oak doors were visible (it wasn't even real oak, Xorphians didn't believe in killing trees). With a heavy sigh of relief Dogarta crept forward and was stopped when he took a single step.

A light shone brightly in the hall all of a sudden, reflecting off the white marble and into Dogarta's, who winced painfully. A man dressed in a long, black robe with red cuffs and a neat expression (or lack of expression) on his face stood near the stairs, nodding at Dogarta peacefully. Dogarta closed his eyes and swore under his breath.

"Welcome home, sir." The man said with a nod. He was the family servant, Dogarta didn't know his name, he never asked. "Your father is waiting for you. Would you like a towel?" he added.

Dogarta ran his hand through his hair and noticed how wet it was. "Err? no, no thanks." He replied briefly. The butler gave a small nod and began a fast paced walk up the stairs, which Dogarta had trouble keeping up with. The butler led him through the halls and through several doors in the house, never once looking back to check on his master's son. Suddenly, he did stop, at a large red and gold door. He turned around to face Dogarta, staring blankly with his old relic of a face. He simply indicated for Dogarta to enter and left it at that.

With a slow sigh and a crack of his neck, Dogarta twisted the door handle and pushed the door open slightly, peering in. His father's office, bad news indeed. The room was quite large, like everything in the house, and was filled with red and gold objects. There were large windows at the back of the room behind his father's desk and two doors to the left and the right, always locked. Dogarta stepped into the room, getting an eerie feeling causing him to shake with nervousness. His father was in the room, he could tell. He was sat with the back of his chair facing Dogarta, tapping his hand on the arm of his chair to the tick of the clock just above him.

"How was your day?" asked Dogarta's father, his voice old and hoarse.

"Fine." Dogarta muttered a reply.

There was a long, long pause after that. Dogarta couldn't hear his father breathing but he could hear his own breaths, sharp and scared. He had always been scared of his father, even then it didn't stop him from always undermining his authority.

His father stood up, a tall, buff man, always dressed formally, more formally than his son, anyway. His hair was dark red with dabs of grey, neatly combed back and not too long. His large hand was still tapping to the sound of the clock, his gold ring sometimes catching on the arm. He walked around his desk to the front, leant back on it, and looked at Dogarta, a little regretfully.

"Why is it that you can't understand what I'm trying to do here? Why is it that you have to go against everything I ask, everything I do, without a reason? Why, Dogarta, why?" he asked firmly. "I was worried about where you were, the Outskirts are dangerous. Do you realise that because of you I missed a very, very important meeting that may reveal Xorphia to the rest of the Universe and possibly start an intergalactic war with our neighbours? Do you get that, Dogarta? Do you get the fact that if you keep undermining my work we might find ourselves in a war, with no saviour to save us this time?" he voice was rising now.

"I-I didn't m-mean?" Dogarta stammered.

"You didn't mean to?! Shall we just take your criminal record files and rename it Dogarta's 'I didn't mean to' list? How can you not mean to run out for a whole day at some run down, isolated, barren wasteland of a civilisation? The only reason that place is still around is because it's inhabited! Otherwise we would have destroyed it years ago!"

"I won't do it again!" Dogarta yelled.

His father moved forward all of a sudden, grabbing Dogarta by the scruff of his collar. As if he knew where they were and that they would be there, he took out a ticket, for another concert, waving it in Dogarta's face for a moment before throwing it back down on his desk and sitting on the chair in a huff.

Dogarta stared at the floor, gritting his teeth and closing his eyes.

"Look at me." His father ordered. Dogarta shook his head. "For Kovar's sake, look at me!"

Dogarta looked up then and was glad he wasn't scared anymore. He doubted his father was seeing a scared little boy anymore. He hated it when people even used Kovar's name when they weren't allowed to. It was completely unworthy of them.

"You know we're right. Deep down you know you've all strayed away from the real meaning, the real reason for living. You're so old that you're scared of change. You're scared of new culture, new ideas, you're just so old it's scary. Don't ever use his name, you're not Xorphians, they're his people, his people wouldn't be so? pathetic." Dogarta snarled.

His father sighed. "It's not about who's right or wrong anymore. If you love Kovar so much, then you can go and live with him, in his time." He opened his drawer and took out a small packet of pictures and written letters, handing them to Dogarta. "You haven't been punished because you're my son. I won't be responsible for you anymore. You're old enough to take care of yourself and your own actions. We have no death penalty, though now I wish we had. I'd rather know my son was with the Gods rather than being lost to a world we know so little about."

Dogarta closed his eyes and let his head hang. He wasn't ashamed of himself, not really, just afraid right now. His father was talking about a new form of punishment, or rather a way to get rid of his son that was tainting the family name. A world they knew so little about was Earth, where Kovar made his name. They knew so little about it except the hardship people went through there. Judging by his father's tone of voice, and the level of technology Xorphia had, Dogarta would have to seriously consider the rest of his life.

"Are you a hero, son?"

Dogarta's head snapped up. "More than you."

"You can be a god-damn hero on that god-forsaken world if you don't change your attitude! You're ruining our life here! Nobody wants to be defended in court by a man who brought up a wannabe revolutionary! Nobody wants change!"

"What about my life?" Dogarta said with more than a hint of bitterness in his voice.

"That's not the point!"

"It is! Of course it's the point! Why don't you just disown me already? Or is that going to make you look like even more of a jerk? It's my life; will you let me live it?" Dogarta was shouting now, leaning over the desk at his father.

Murphy, too, had enough. He slammed his hands down on the desk, an act that made the entire room shake and even Dogarta jumped away, silenced by fear.

"Then this is your choice! Conform to our life or go to that place where you can be who you want to be!"

Murphy's voice was so deep, so loud. Dogarta couldn't even keep his head up, he felt like he was protecting himself by staring at the carpet from his father's yelling. Murphy was a powerful man, mentally, physically, socially? Dogarta knew when to be afraid. He knew when it was time to lower his voice and his head.

"Just tell me what you want. I can give you the choice but the Government can't."

Dogarta swallowed at his father's soft tone. "I?" he began, stopping to reconsider. He looked up, stared at his father, all powerful as he was, and looked him in the eye. "I want to leave here. I don't want to stay. I want to live my life."

There was something, at that point, that provided Murphy was not as god-like as he led himself to be. There was no change in his stern expression except for his eyes, his eyes which seemed to be gleaming now but not from happiness. Water, like he was about to cry, and devastation. He stared at his son, never drawing his gaze away, never changing the look on his face, yet fully aware of the tears welling up in his deep grey eyes.

He turned away from his son and sat back down in his chair, sighing. He turned the chair around, not wanting to face the betrayal, and waved his hand over the top of the chair at Dogarta.

"You should keep those photographs and letters, son," he said, "they're all you've got, you'll need them."


-----


Whenever the sun went down, it was obvious and you knew you'd be left in darkness. People would feel safe in the sun, they would never feel like a demon was haunting them beneath the shadows, or stalking them, or talking about the. They would never feel like the world was too quiet to be right, like there was something more violent lurking around each corner or that there was something wrong with them. Of course, the danger of dying still existed in daylight, except we never thought that. We felt safe when we were out in the sun because it was there to show the world and light the way.

Maybe that's why the stars were so important. During a time when the sun went down a portion of that power would still remain in the sky; not enough to bring the day back yet enough to give people hope. The stars were just the same as our own sun, perhaps superior or inferior, except they were further away. Even when clouds covered from due to excessive pollution people still remembered there were stars in the sky. A star will not protect you from death, though it will give you enough courage and hope to defend yourself against it.

Right now, there wasn't a star to be seen in the sky and there hadn't been a star for over sixty years. No man was alive today and remembered what a star-filled sky looked like; no man was alive to tell his children what it looked like, either.

So if they were a symbol of hope and they hadn't been seen for so long, what would they say about the morality of the human species?

Very little.

Even with the sky blackened to within an inch of the void the stars couldn't shine through. Although they had nothing left, not even something to wish on, the human race was surprisingly good at keeping themselves alive. They were dragging themselves through hell and back each day ? wouldn't it be easier to die? Of course. They were just incredibly stubborn.

Sarah wasn't sure if she agreed with the hell part ? she had the tendency to ignore the barren wastelands and nuclear radioactive areas of her dead planet ? though she definitely agree with the dragging part. Dragging a human body, dead or alive, through dead grass and dust was a hard task. She would normally give up, and she had tried carrying the man? but now he was long dead, it didn't matter as long as he was back home. She promised she'd bury him inside the City Walls, if that meant dragging his body back then so be it.

Sarah herself wasn't a particularly massive person. She was a bit smaller than most of the people she knew, which didn't help in intimidating the enemy. She did, however, make up for this with a deathly dark personal approach to war and her status as a Leader. When it came to the enemy ? any enemy ? Sarah's ice blue eyes were cold enough to freeze over any army, her age was beautiful enough to make them stop and reconsider and a considerable amount of weapons hidden beneath her long black coat was enough to take anyone by surprise.

When she grew up in the Resistance her friends thought of her as the enemy did and they underestimated her a great deal. She had always looked very young, blonde haired, blue eyed, smaller than usual and the sort of face were a frown didn't look right. When she grew older, she began to turn the world's opinion of her around; when she was eighteen, the current leader of the Resistance group in the city relinquished his status to her. This decision was not supported by the rest of the group, although after sometime she proved that her zero-tolerance to attacks against her people would make her a target to the enemy, but also a formidable leader.

And formidable leaders sometimes had to drag their fallen men across the ground back to their home. She didn't complain, though. Jacko, someone who came with her to salvage a crash site, was a heavy man and proved harder for her to drag than she thought. Due to his weight, Sarah was slouching down, gripping under Jacko's arms and causing the bottom of her coat to get caught on nearby rocks. Her arms and palms were bleeding; some of the blood wasn't even hers, though she didn't complain.

Sarah and Jacko were expecting a peaceful little mission to find supplies in a crash they had spotted in the morning. When they got there, however, a survivor of the crash pulled himself out of the rubble. Jacko was taken by surprise, shot down, and Sarah gave the demon a fight for his life for shooting Jacko. It didn't bring Jacko back, no, it never did, though it did make his death seem more fitting.

When she stepped on solid stone ground she looked ahead, stood in front of a stone bridge that led to two large, concrete gates, opening inwards just a little. The walls to the city were worn down half way yet they still retained a massive height, although the amount of bricks missing in the middle made it doubtful that the city could stand much more assault. There were many buildings tall enough to stand over the walls, except maybe the watch towers, which had been built directly behind their defence for obvious reasons.

She sighed again and lifted Jacko off the ground a bit more, knocking the dust and sand that had been collected on his stomach off of his limb body. She dragged him across the bridge, wincing slightly at the sound of leather scrapping against concrete. She didn't enjoy dragging him across the ground.

Whilst she dragged Jacko a man stuck his head around the gates to look at her. He saw the way she was limping with Jacko behind her and his grey eyes widened, though he didn't move to help her. He stood outside the gate, leaned against it, and ran his hand through his grey hair with a sigh.

The man finally reached out when Sarah got close enough and he took Jacko's other arm. He lifted his dead body up and wrapped his other arm under Jacko's legs like it was nothing at all. Then the old man looked over at Sarah, narrowed his eyes at her, asking her what had happened without saying a word.

"Once of those bastard demons were left in the crash and shot Jacko right through the chest. Gave him a good chase, though," Sarah muttered, looking down at the state of her arm and touching the blood on her forehead, "I had to bring him back here, Gidan, I couldn't leave him there."

Gidan smiled sympathetically and nodded. "It's alright. I'm sure no one's going to hold this against you."

Sarah took awhile to register that it was a compliment. She thought it was sarcasm, simply because she could feel someone was watching her right now. She didn't have to glance, didn't even have to guess, to know who it was. Instead she looked upwards to the left watchtower and locked eyes with a dark looking boy, black hair matted against his forehead and a disgusted sneer on his face that was directed right at Sarah.

"Really?" Sarah raised an eyebrow.

"I know, I know, ignore him. We've got a funeral to plan." Gidan shook his head wearily and heaved Jacko up a bit more before slipping back into the gates. Sarah followed him, not without glancing up at the boy in the tower, though.

Inside the city was nothing special and nothing worth protecting, they only did so because it was their home. A few people were dotted around, vaguely the same in terms of their dress sense but completely different in terms of whom they were. When Gidan walked in carrying Jacko, one of the biggest men in their group, a few people stopped to stare with disbelief and fear on their faces. Sarah gave each of them an apologetic look and they turned away, eyes downcast with nothing to say to her.

"You should get cleaned up," Gidan said as he pushed open a weak wooden door with his back, "I'll take care of Jacko."

Gidan walked towards the middle of the dark room and lay Jacko down on a cold metal table. Jacko's head fell to the side, his eyes still slightly open and his face and brown hair covered with dry dust and blood. His shirt seemed like it had been blown open, the rips hiding a large burnt hole near his heart. When Gidan stepped away, Jacko's arm fell off his stomach and to the side, where it hung in the wrong direction.

"I'm going to miss Jacko?" Sarah drew in a swallow breath but the stern expression on her face betrayed the sympathy in her voice.

"I know you will. Everyone's going to miss Jacko, as well as the other five people who died this week." Gidan looked at Sarah and this time she knew he was being sadistically sarcastic. "We can't be sympathetic over everyone that dies. Tunguska was never like that and we survived because of it. Respect the dead, don't run around avenging 'em."

"Who said I was going to do anything of the sort?"

Gidan shrugged. "Dunno, just the look on your face?"

"My face?" Sarah snapped.

"Yeah. Kinda had that 'eye for an eye' look."

Sarah was biting her tongue now. "What kind of look is that, then? When did you become a master of my expressions?"

"I was there when you were born, kid. Do whatever you want, you're in charge now. I'ma sure Tunguska made the right choice? just remember, an eye for an eye don't work so well when you only have two eyes and they've got a thousand."

That was the kind of philosophical crap Sarah couldn't be bothered with anymore. As the oldest of the Resistance and the self-proclaimed second in command, Gidan's views always seemed important to Sarah. He could do without the philosophy now and then, though.

Sarah walked away from him, Gidan grinned slightly when she turned her back but he kept his thoughts to himself.

The Resistance itself was an old organization, if you could call it that, which had been around for at least a hundred years. It started off as part of a fleet, defending against the invaders who seemed so intent on crushing the world's population. When humanity pretty much began to fall by means of their enemies overpowering them and their own stupidity in terms of nuclear weapons, the remainder of the fleet took a stand in Lancashire, England. It was one of the few places were civilisation had built itself upon stone walls and concrete jungles, instead of using the modern thin-layered metals.

During the hundred years, the Resistance was constantly slaughtered and attacked. The city they had defended was a valuable landmark; behind it was a barren wasteland, Tergo, that was rich with fuel and materials. After cutting through Tergo, you came to an incredibly large abandoned city, called the Dead City because that's all it was ? a dead Ghost Town.

If you don't cut through the Resistance's territory, you have to go around and face the vicious animals that lay beyond the city walls, animals turned more vicious than ever before when they, too, are under threat of annihilation. For both humans and their unpleasant visitor the journey was dangerous.

That's what made Tunguska's job so hard and that's what made Sarah so terrified. Before Tunguska died, Sarah was chosen as a replacement, despite her age. She knew that the city they lived in was not only a place where their memories lay but it was also a key area that they simply couldn't hand over.

She kicked a stone along the ground with the tip of her boot and made her way towards the middle of the city. The brick walls didn't keep the cold out, although the broken ships still had enough energy in them to keep an entire Resistance warm. It was the only inhabited part of their city made of metal, granted the actual star ships weren't part of the city (the length of time they had been laying there would tell you otherwise).

Stepping up the ramp into a warm, metal vessel felt odd after she had spent the last few hours fighting in the dark and dragging a man across dust and sand. She was greeted with polite nods and smiles from the few people dotted around the ship's consoles and she returned everything with a false, out-of-touch smile.

The inside of the ship was normally well kept for a broken-down piece of junk, recently however, the front doors had been blown open. Now, the metallic walls that normally had a clean finish were thick with black burn marks, going all the way from the newly remade entrance, across the consoles and even down the corridor where everyone slept.

Sarah was pretty unlucky. Her room, if you could call it that, was the closet to the main entrance. The blast managed to blow off the doors to her and another unlucky person's room, effectively blasting half of her possessions, too. She didn't care, to be honest? she hardly slept.

Walking in she brushed off some of the black ash off the doorframe and sat down on the bed at the far end of the box filled room. It wasn't light at all, the only lighting came from the corridors outside her room, the only sort of reflection came from the metallic ceilings outside her room, too, since her mirror had been burnt to dust like the cabinet it was on.

The prospect of never being able to live a better life than this had always made Sarah feel like a prisoner on the very planet they were defending. She was born in the Resistance, she would die in it, it seemed. Despite their effort, their 'good-will' and their need for survival each and every person alive today knew they were going to die for no reason. The current problem they faced on their planet could not be solved if a Government was still around, it could not be killed by medical technology, it could not be fled from and it probably would never go away. If their demons didn't outnumber them, they would simply out power them. It was a wonder humanity could still hold on.

Sarah reckoned it was sheer luck, or sheer bad luck. Some sort of bad curse kept them all alive so they could see each other die one after the other. Any thoughts or dreams of making the world better had been lost to all the population now, their only concern was how long they could stay alive. No one was willing to give up after two hundred years of stubbornness.

She stood up and pulled off the covers off her bed, tossing them aside. She replaced thoe covers with her long coat, laying it flat down on her bed. Inside the coat was a sheath, with a sword in it that was roughly the same size as her arm. She removed it form the jacket and took the sword out of its sheath ? everyone was proud of their weapons, except she didn't have much to be proud of.

The sword given to her was one of two, owned by the previous owner of the Resistance. He gave one to his son and one to the new leader, Sarah. Tunguska's son was far too concerned about family pride to let his father's sword be ruined, and Sarah was far too concerned about winning to keep her sword in shape. The blade was rough, jiggered, dull, not even sharp. The only thing that made it deadly was Sarah's ability to cut someone's head off with a smooth rock.

"So was his life worth your little scavenger hunt, then?"

Sarah froze when she heard his voice, mocking all the time. She forced herself to turn around, frowning at the boy who was stood leaning against her doorframe with an arrogant smirk on his pale face. It didn't make her feel any better that she was covered in dust whilst he was stood there in the finest, un-torn clothes and equally un-torn morality.

"I can't predict what will happen, didn't know one of those demons was still alive, did I?" Sarah snapped back.

The boy's smirk just grew. "Any good leader knows not to storm into an area without realising it could be potentially dangerous. They don't take one of their army's most formidable members, either. Jacko could drag three men up with one hand, and you go and get him shot. How about you take Deacon and Elis next time, huh?"

"Shut up, Enuba. It's not my fault your dad trusts me more than you."

Sarah had spat vinegar into the boy's pride. He stood up straight with his hands at his side, though really he was edging towards a sword kept on his belt, the same as Sarah's in better condition.

Enuba was not like his father in anyway. He was cold, spiteful, bitter, insulting, arrogant and completely uninterested in the safety of the world. He cared more about keeping memories alive then a species, he cared more about making his dad proud than stopping the Resistance from starving. Though it may be clichéd, Enuba was like a lot of the humans still around. Luckily, most were loyal enough to leave their anger out of the battle.

"My dad trusted me more than he does you. At least he knew what he was doing, he wasn't stupid enough to get Jacko shot and he wasn't stupid enough to carry a body back instead of supplies. What use is a dead body?"

Sarah turned around and shrugged. "Jacko wanted to be buried here, he told me that. A few extra items would have helped, but it ain't necessary. I'd rather keep Jacko's promise than make your standard of livin' just a little bit better."

"Yeah, you say that, you don't even know what was in that crashed ship. You don't even know what you're doing."

Sarah lowered his palms down to her sword on the bed and drew in a slow breath. Her patience was wearing thin, she wasn't in the mood for arguing with little boys anymore.

"What kind of person are you that goes around pretending you know how to lead an army when you can't even keep your own living area tidy?" Enuba sneered. He was about to open his mouth and fire another insult but Sarah turned around, violently cutting him off.

"And what kind of person are you who can't think of anythin' better to do than mither me? What kind of kid are you who runs around with a sword in his belt, actin' like he's goin' to fight when all he does is make sure that sword stays nice and shiny? What kind of leader would you be if you cared more about your dead dad than your livin' friends?"

"Better one than you!"

Enuba had stepped forward now and drawn his sword out, not knowing that Sarah had left hers on the bed.

"You're just a little boy, you just care about how much of a better leader you would be than me, and I don't care about that, never did care, never did fuckin' care but you go on about it like I should!" Sarah said through gritted teeth. "Compassion makes you a good leader; so far you'd only make a great Althilmirian."

If Enuba was ever going to stand down it was now. And he did. He kept that same steady, disgusted look on his face and directed it towards the floor instead. It wasn't that Sarah had hit him with a statement that was true, it was that she had hit him with an insult human beings weren't meant to throw at each other. Either she was far too angry or she didn't consider Enuba a human being at all. The very word Althilmirian was an insult to those who spoke it, and to those it was directed at, even more so.

"What? Are you going to say I don't understand? That I ain't go no right to say somethin' like that because I don't understand you?"

Enuba tightened his grip on his sword in an attempt to keep his voice inside his throat. He wanted to reply and tell her yes, that's exactly it, she didn't understand.

"Get lost, you're just a kid. You're a fuckin' dead kid if you keep on like this, too. I ain't going to save your arse when you get your rib cage crushed by a demon. I ain't ever goin' to save your arse because you never want to save anyone else's. Do you?"

Enuba turned around to leave, Sarah saw him with the corner of her eye.

"Hey, c'mon, do you? Do you wanna see everyone die? It'd be fun, wouldn't it? And you won't have to worry about being sorry, demons don't feel sorry."

At that point, Enuba stopped, turned around, pointed at Sarah accusingly.

"You can't say anything about being sorry. You killed my dad and you didn't apologise for that."

Enuba's voice, which was normally strong and unmoved, seemed to break a little. Just a little, just enough for Sarah to stop and realise all the things she had been saying. Enuba may have been unhurt by insult; Sarah wasn't so hard, especially on the subject of Tunguska, who everyone missed.

"Yeah, you killed my dad and my mother. Even the fuckin' demons felt sorry for them. You don't belong here, you don't belong with demons, don't belong anywhere. If I'm heartless I don't know what the fuck you are?"[/align][/size]
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