Thursday, January 31, 2013

Elfin Warfare - Chapter One

She solemnly stood on the concrete wall that protected a military base of the Eruthine army. Before her the sun had just begun to show itself, emerging from behind several distant mountains and casting an orange glow over the war torn desert. Behind her were the weapon storage facilities and temporary camps of the unit she was assigned to. The wall she stood on blocked the young suns light, making all but the slightly orange sky appear as night. Her pointed ears flicked as they picked up the sound of approaching footsteps.

“Do you remember anything?” asked the familiar voice of Alcuin.

His brown hair was slightly spiked upwards though his bangs fell just above his eyes. He hadn’t bothered to dress for the day yet; a brown robe sufficed for his early morning activities. A tray of food was held in his right hand, steam still rose from the bowl of oatmeal.

“No… I can’t remember anything of my life before I awoke in the Professor’s lab,” Freya answered without bothering to turn towards Alcuin. She was too wrapped in thoughts to remember her manners.

She hadn’t slept well the night before. She gave up on her sleep hours ago and was already dressed in her specially fitted blue armor. The sun’s light was reflected off the smoother, harder pieces of her armor while the more rubber-like portions on her joints and torso seemed to absorb the light. The armor was colored to compliment her long blue hair and sapphire eyes. These colors were natural for elves.

“I brought you some breakfast,” Alcuin said, motioning towards the tray of food in his hands.

“Oh. Thank you,” she replied snapping away from her thoughts.

Together they sat cross-legged on the large wall, eating bowls of hot oatmeal and enjoying the site of the rising sun. Alcuin couldn’t help but smile. Most elves emitted dread and other dark emotions in the young human, but Freya seemed to emit a light brighter then the sun itself. His smile shifted into a frown, however, as something appeared on the horizon. A large silhouette followed soon by the many smaller silhouettes of bipeds approaching from the distance.

“They’re here,” Alcuin said sadly.

Freya rose to her feet; “Excuse me,” she said. And before Alcuin had time to say anything more the girl had leapt from the large wall.

Twenty feet. Thirty. Forty. The wind whipped her blue hair in all directions as she plummeted towards the dusty desert ground below. Her sapphire eyes were focused on a spot a few dozen feet beneath her. Seventy feet. Eighty. Ninety. One hundred. She hit the ground hard, one of her legs immediately buckled and left her kneeling on her other. A cloud of dust and sand quickly consumed her, making her completely invisible to Alcuin from the wall above. It took only a few seconds for Freya to burst out of the dust cloud, but to Alcuin it felt so much longer. She was running at a speed no human, or elf, could have normally achieved. From atop the wall it looked as though a small blue ant was running across a sandbox, kicking up clouds of dust with every step it took.

The distance between Freya and the oncoming army was quickly being closed. She grabbed one of the hilts strapped to her back and tugged. In an instant she held a blue weapon resembling a long sword, a katana. But the sword was not metal; it instead resembled a blue neon light. Another instant and she had grabbed at a second hilt and held a sword in her other hand. The handles of these blades were made with the same material as her armor, though the coloring was white.

The soldiers she approached were dressed all in black. Their ears were pointed and their hair was colors unnatural to humans. They were elves. This was a land unit of the Elfin Army. The object that had once been a large silhouette was now revealed to be a very large assault tank. The tank bore some resemblance to a rhinoceros though there were obvious differences. It was painted entirely in black and it seemed to be built of several rectangular tiles stuck together at sloping angles with a large tube protruding from the vehicles front.

Some of the soldiers pointed at the dust cloud that approached them. “Captain Jaren!” some of the soldiers shouted. Their captain stood atop the black tank, his golden hair was tied back in a ponytail. The red cape he wore signified his rank.

“Shoot it! By the time you can make out the girl creating the cloud, it’ll be too late!” Captain Jaren shouted while his green eyes fixed on the cloud of dust and dirt.

The soldiers fired their automatic weapons. Machine guns and auto rifles fired round after round, but the bullets were a wasted effort. They hit Freya’s armor and simply ricocheted away.

“No! Not bullets you idiots! Only ellicit can damage her armor!” Jaren shouted to his soldiers.

But it was too late for them. She was already upon them. The soldiers around her attempted to fire at her, destroy her. They all fell quickly. In under a minute she had decimated the ground troops on the left side of the tank. She paused for a brief moment, to catch her breath. Jaren, from atop his tank, began firing spheres of pink energy at Freya. She managed to avoid these shots, and rush around the backside of the tank to destroy the remainder of the troops. They turned as she approached, and with their own weapons began firing multi-colored spheres of light from their guns.

Most of the shots missed the girl and created tiny explosions where they hit the ground. She stormed through the small dust clouds the explosions kicked up, avoiding more shots of green or yellow light. One shot struck her upper arm and she heard her armor crack. A searing pain burned into her flesh, but she ignored it and continued rushing through the flurry of colored lights. Almost as quickly as the left flank had fallen, the soldiers on the right were defeated.

“You will not dispose of me so quickly!” Jaren shouted.

The Captain leapt from the top of his tank, the red cape flowing behind him elegantly. He raised a large mace with a similar neon-light design to Freya‘s sword, and the rest seemed to be in slow motion to the hopeless Captain. Jaren had no time to strike; the blue clad warrior slid by him almost silently, and as she passed time restored for the Captain and his vision went black a second later. An instant later Freya had bound into the air a dozen or so feet above the tank. A push of a button and the neon blades of her weapons had bent at an angle beneath her arms and the weapons handles. Her fingers pulled the white triggers attached to the swords handle and instantly balls of blue energy blasted down into the tank.

The tank exploded in a green inferno as the ellicit blasts rained down upon it. Freya landed just as the inferno cleared to reveal scraps of black metal, all with green and orange flames adorning them. The blades of her weapons returned to their original angles and she returned them to the blue sheaths on her back, just behind her shoulders. She then began the treck back to her base, though in no hurry, she was decidedly walking.


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Alcuin had watched it all from his perch atop the concrete wall. Through the entire ordeal he was terrified for the life of his friend, but his worries were put to rest when he saw the enemies fall. He hadn’t noticed that someone else had joined in watching Freya decimate the enemy troops. Alcuin jumped in fright as the other person spoke.

“Wow, amazing,” said the person, his arms were crossed and his face showed great amusement.

“Levi, you scared me,” Alcuin said, after calming down and gathering his senses.

“I know. It’s a talent,” Levi answered, unfolding his arms and tightening the green and brown camo bandanna on his head, “I’ve been wondering Alcuin. She destroyed them probably without breaking a sweat. I’d bet she could win this war on her own. Why are we here?”

Alcuin took a moment to answer. Despite Levi’s general appearance and attitude, he wasn’t an idiot. The young man before him, dressed in an unzipped bulletproof vest and black pants with his tangled blond hair stabbing wildly at the air from beneath his bandanna was actually a mechanical genius. It was actually Levi who had invented the weapons used by Freya, not Professor Foley. After an impatient glance from Levi, Alcuin answered, “I’m sure our officials would say we’re here to win the war. Most of us know it’s really to keep Freya under control if she were ever to go rogue or change alliances.”

“Yeah, but she can’t do that, can she? I thought that when the Professor programmed her he designed her not to attack humans.”

“That’s true, but she still possesses the ability to think, as well as all normal emotions. It’s these factors that make it possible for her to go rogue. They allow her to choose what she does.”

“So what would happen if she were to make choices that conflicted with her programming?”

“I have no idea. In all cases, it wouldn’t be good. You shouldn’t concern yourself with it too much, Levi. She’s come to trust us and consider us her friends. I’m more puzzled as to where she came from.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well… she’s an elf. Sure she’s a robotically enhanced elf, but she’s still an elf. It makes me wonder if there’s more to Freya we should know about. Was she a willing participant or was she abducted from some elfin settlement? You know? I just don’t think it would sit well with me if it turns out she was experimented on against her will…”

“I guess it wouldn’t make me feel too great either. But think about it reasonably and it‘s pretty obvious. These days, there’s not an elf alive that would willingly sacrifice themselves for the betterment of humans.”

“Unfortunately I’ll have to admit that you’re right,” Alcuin said, his mind beginning to drift into darker territories.

“Come on,” Levi said, placing a smile on his face and patting Alcuin on the back, “Let’s get ready. We head out for the capital today.”

“Yeah,” Alcuin turned back to the desert, Freya was still a rather small speck of blue, “I’ll be there in a bit.”

“If you say so,” Levi replied as he walked away.

Freya reached the bottom of the gray wall after several long minutes. She looked up at Alcuin. She could jump higher then most, but there was no way she would be able to leap one hundred feet into the air. She knew this.

“I’ll be in the mess hall! I’m a little thirsty!” Freya called up to her human companion.

“Alright! I’ll meet you there!” Alcuin called down.


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Freya’s walk to the mess hall wasn’t a painless one. Though she protected the humans and always treated them kindly, most of them did not return her kindness. They could not see beyond the fact that she was an elf. Most of them had decided that she would one day betray them all. As she walked along the dirt roads and past the many stone structures used as sleeping facilities by the soldiers she couldn’t help but notice the many hateful glares she received.

Involuntarily tears found themselves drowning her sapphire eyes. She turned her head downwards, where she wouldn’t be able to see their ugly scowls. It seemed like she could almost hear the thoughts of the hateful men and women around her. As she stared at her own shadow and tried to ignore her watering eyes her thoughts lifted her out of reality. But they didn’t bring her to a safe place like most thoughts do. She found herself tortured by mental images of the hateful humans. When she managed to thrust these images away the troubling thoughts about how she came to be returned to her. How does someone like her come to exist?

Lost in her thoughts she didn’t notice the man riding a horse up the road. The man didn’t call to warn her, he remained as quiet as he possibly could while ushering his horse to go faster. Faster. Freya still did not notice the man or his horse. He swerved to the side, avoiding her. But as he passed by he reached down and grabbed her by the hair. Freya was yanked out of her thoughts. Pain shivered around her scalp.

“Hey pretty girl! Wanna come to my bunk tonight?” the man asked with a lustful cruelty.

“Let go!” Freya demanded, trying to pull away from the man’s grasp. Had she wanted to she could have easily broken the man’s arm and continued on her way, but that was the kind of falter all the hateful humans were waiting for.

“Or what blue beauty? You’ll cut me up?” the man twisted her hair tightly, pulling her closer.

“That’s enough, Lace!” a voice called from somewhere in the crowd that had gathered.

The man released his grip on the clump of blue hair. A man much larger then the others stepped out of the crowd. He stood a head taller then the rest, and a blue cape dangled from his shoulders. At his waist was a very large sheath for a very large sword. He narrowed his eyes on the horseman and said sternly; “Leave, Lace, before I make an example of you.”

“Aw gee Commander. I was just havin’ a little fun with her is all!” the horseman said in his same nasty voice.

“Leave!” demanded the large man. When Lace had run off the Commander turned to the rest of his soldiers, which had gathered to watch Freya’s torment, “And for the rest of you rotten maggots, if I catch word of your tormenting Freya at all I will lock you in on of our detention cells! It is because of her that each and every one of us breathes today! You should all be thanking her, not pulling her hair and demanding sex! She is no less human then we are! She deserves as much respect as you show me! Do you understand?”

Grudging murmurs and nods from the crowd showed that they did not understand, but they would say what they had to to make the Commander leave them be. Slowly they began to turn away and disperse back to their daily activities.

“Thank you Commander Geov,” Freya said as she turned to look up at the Commander’s face.

“Yes, well, I couldn’t allow that nonsense to go on in my camp. Filthy mercenaries,“ Geov muttered with disgust before adopting a more polite tone, “Tell me, where were you headed? Would you like an escort?”

“I was just going to the mess hall for some water. I’m a little thirsty after this mornings fight. I think I can get there without an escort though, it’s not too far from here.”

“Ah, I see. Well, just keep your eyes open. There are others like Lace whom I wouldn’t trust with if my own life depended on it. It is unfortunate that we are in such desperate need of soldiers that we must hire the likes of him. Oh well. Farewell for now Freya, I will see you again as we leave for the capital.”

“Until then, Commander.”

After the Commander had left, Freya walked a bit faster, feeling very uneasy. Commander Geov had always been kind to her, but like he said, there were many undesirables among the ranks of these soldiers. Much of the human army had been built of mercenaries and released criminals. They were truly scraping the bottom of the bucket. If the war was not won soon, all hope for humans would be lost.

She approached the mess hall building. It wasn’t much better looking then the sleeping houses, but it was larger and always smelled better then the dirty beds. She gently pushed the crooked hinged wooden door open and stepped in. Instantly she was hit by the smell of what would soon be lunch.

“Macaroni,” she muttered as she walked through rows of wooden tables.

“That and bits of fish slop!” a voice called from the end of the mess hall.

It was Medley, a cooking lady whom always had something interesting to say about the meals she had to make. Medley was a large and kind woman, she always managed to make Freya feel a little better about herself. The cook lady had already known what Freya would do; she presented a jug of water to the girl.

“Thank you, Medley,” Freya managed a smile for her friend.

“Oh, it’s nothing Freya. After all, you keep those soldiers away and you’ve given hope to those of us who once lost it! Keeping you hydrated is the least I could do for you!”

“I’m just doing what I was created to do.”

“Yeah, sure. And I respect that! I tell ya what. If you want it, I’ll sneak you an extra piece of spice cake for dessert tonight!”

“That would be great, Medley,” Freya responded with a smile. Suddenly her arm felt sore and she remembered that one of the ellicit spheres had hit her, “I’m going to sit down now. I’m a little tired.”

“No problem Frey! I have to get back to the kitchen anyway, or Herb’ll get mad. We all know how pissy he gets. See ya later,” and with a smile and a wave Medley vanished behind the swinging doors to the kitchen.

Freya sat across the table from a black haired girl whom had her nose buried in a pile of papers. The table was old and creaked beneath Freya’s added weight. She ignored the creak and took a swig from the jug of water Medley had given her.

“Good morning, Dora,” Freya greeted the girl across from her.

“Good morning,” the girl responded in a barely audible tone, almost a whisper.

“What are you so wrapped up in? All these papers don’t look like fun.”

“I’m going over the list of supplies we’ll be bringing to the capital with us, as well as the instructions to leave with Captain Edder while we’re gone,” Dora responded in her quiet voice.

“Edder, I haven’t seen much of him.”

“No, he generally avoids you and Alcuin. There’s a rumor that he’s jealous Alcuin was chosen to be Geov’s Lt. Commander.”

“I see,” Freya replied as she took another swig of water.

Dora looked away from her papers for an instant, distracted by Freya’s sudden movement. Her eyes widened when she saw her friend.

“You’re bleeding!” the small girl squeaked.

“What?”

“You’re bleeding!” Dora repeated, this time pointing at Freya’s arm.

Freya looked at the cracked piece of armor just below her shoulder, where she had been shot when she attacked the elfin soldiers. Sure enough a red liquid had begun to seep through the cracks of her armor and coat the rest of her arm. A blue liquid accompanied the red, and in places the two had mixed into a purple color.

“Blue,” Dora said slowly, “Freya, you damaged an ellicit vein.”

“Yeah, I guess,” Freya replied glumly as she clutched her shoulder to stop the bleeding, “When Alcuin gets here, tell him where I went.”

Dora nodded and watched as Freya speedily walked away, vanishing behind the creaky wooden door once more.

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