In the island nation of Qortic, the Circle of Magi is making preparations for their first assault. The capital city of Nexus is swarming with people, all working to get ready for the glorious battle. It is a very industrious city, with most of the streets darkened by the surrounding buildings. Images of Archmage Taiberius Kamen flash across arcane holoscreens all around the city, with his voice spreading the Magi's propaganda, and encouraging the people towards their goals. The members of the Circle have all gathered in and around the fortress that was once the royal castle not long ago. Each one preparing themselves in their own ways for the war. The fortress is filled with voices as the Magi converse while performing their tasks. Taiberius sits on the king's throne, meeting with his inner circle of advisors to make further plans.
Meanwhile, a similar situation is taking place in the coastal city of Kalin in the Alliance nation of Niros. The military base is preparing to mobilize. Most of the soldiers have been allowed to take the day off in order to prepare themselves mentally for the war ahead. The city is built almost like a small resort town, though much larger in size. A great place to relax and have fun. The soldiers were told to enjoy it while they could, because after today, they may not get another chance. The Sky Fleet is being prepped, and all the military leaders are hard at work planning for the attack from the Magi. They managed to learn of the assault after reports of scouting parties being spotted on a small island not far from the coast, between Kalin and Qortic. This was going to be the first major battle. One that could decide the momentum of the rest of the war. No one knew what the Magi had in store for them, but they were preparing for the worst.
The leaders of the Purgers were hard at work recntly as well. Several days ago, a call went out to all nearby Purger forces to rally in Kalin. They had a hideout there, and had easily gotten word of the coming battle between the Magi and the Alliance. Lucky, they would easily blend into the city's populace to be unnoticed, while inside the hideout they were preparing for the battle themselves. There wasn't many of them, only maybe 100 or so for this battle. A fraction of what the Magi and Alliance was sure to bring to the fight. But the Purgers have something that neither of their opponents have: The element of surprise. The Purgers are still unknown to anyone outside of their own, which meant that when they jumped into the fight tomorrow, the weapons of their enemies would not be pointed at them. At least not right away. It was the perfect plan. All that was left to do was make final preparations, and wait it out in the beautiful city of Kalin.
Alana sat outside,alone. Humm that was nice to be alone after eating,sleeping,breathing,and sweating team. She looked up at the sky and smiled ' tomorrow might be my last' she thought but that didn't matter. Alana stretched and looked for someone who she might reconize.
Frostbite wasn't one to enjoy festivities. Why? Well it brought on very horrible and painful memories. And of course these were memories that she didn't want to remember. So, as the rest of the Alliance soldiers were laughing, feasting, and flirting with each other, Frostbite had drowned herself in alcohol. It was hard alcohol as well, sending her over the edge rather quickly. She was making an ass of herself, moving from each barracks rooms to sing in a high pitched voice. After one of her officers found her voice to be annoying, Frostbite found herself outside. Landing on her ass, Frostbite got up angrily to pound upon the door. When no one answered, she grumbled to herself.
"At least they left me my beer," she grumbled darkly, hugging her bottle.
She sat on a bench, not realizing the Alana was outside with her.
Tasha stood silently outside, glaring at the far off sky. She didn't relish battles, but maybe this was necessary. After all, the Magi had screwed so many thing up, it seemed only right to let them get what they deserved. That was why she had joined the Alliance in the first place. Her own life had been ruined and childhood innocence stolen, so now it was her turn and she didn't plan on squandering her monopoly over the board.
Shoving her hands into her pockets, she threw a glance over her shoulder to where most of the soldiers were celebrating. What she didn't know. What was there to celebrate? Tomorrow they were going to make their move and as far as they knew it would be their last move. Why would they want to celebrate what might be their last few days on this planet? Tasha scowled and returned her gaze to the sky, trying to allow the twinkling lights of the stars calm her down.
Alana smothered a laugh "and who is it I have the pleasure of sitting next to?" she could smell the alcohol from her spot. She wanted to reach out and grab the bottle from the drunken girl,yes it was enought of thinking. It was time of fun.
KeRahn looked down from the tree he was sitting in. Below him, a Purger soldier yelled up at him. Even though he was wearing his helmet, he could easily tell he was frowning. In his hand he held a typical Purger weapon, the end of the pole embedded slightly in the ground.
The soldier yelled again. "Tysuva! You better get your ass down! We need to be ready at any moment for the attack! The leader's gonna be pissed when he sees you n--"
KeRahn grinned, rows of sharp teeth becoming visible and glinting like daggers in the light. He yelled something very offensive loudly back down at him, a rude gesture to accompany it.
The Purger's voice died down at the words. He was silent for a few moments, before groaning in frustration. He yelled up again. "Fine, have it your way! If you want to get fried by the leader, go on ahead." "If you don't want that axe shoved in a vital place, I'd shut up and leave ." KeRahn replied.
The soldier was silent again, but eventually he turned around and jogged back to where the others were, muttering under his breath. KeRahn watched him go until his figure vanished. He made a sharp sound that sounded like a mix between a hiss and a cough. A Thaash's way of snickering.
The Purger didn't really like him. They often disliked how he didn't care for any of his jobs or duties. And they hated it even more when he ditched work shortly to go back to his other activities. KeRahn thought it'd be a good idea to not tell any of them that they were pretty much illegal.
KeRahn thought the Purger's plan was incredibly stupid. (But to be fair, any plan that isn't made up by him is usually deemed stupid in his mind.) They were going to bring 100 men, including him. That didn't even begin to add up to the number of soldiers the Alliance and the Magi were bringing. Even if they had them surprised, what would happen when they got over the shock? KeRahn made a mental note to himself, one that would get him much scorn and maybe even hatred from his fellow Purgers: Abandon the battle when his prediction came true. Even if the Purgers hated him for it, he didn't care. KeRahn was used to being disliked by many people. In fact, it was probably better that way. He would be less likely to make friends.
Part of KeRahn wondered why he had joined in the first place. When he was asked to become a Purger, he pictured fighting and adventure. Things that would make his blue blood pump faster. He was disappointed. There was fighting but not as intense as he had hoped. His reckless nature...hell, his whole personality caused him to be unpopular within the ranks. But he didn't care. Part of him wanted to join the Alliance. At first he thought it was because of his dislike of being a Purger, though he really knew it was because he didn't like the Magi overall. At first, he couldn't care less about them. But he started to see what they did to the world and how they were changing it for the worse. KeRahn probably should have joined the Alliance...but that was not an important matter to him at this exact moment.
KeRahn rubbed the barrel of his sniper rifle softly, before pointing it up in the sky. Focusing the targeting system, he aimed at a small innocent bird. It was white in color and flying casually above the people in the city. He lightly squeezed the trigger. A beam of red shot out from the sniper rifle and aimed dead-on towards the creature. It hit it. The bird froze in mid-air and plummeted towards the ground. No, he hadn't killed it. Merely stunned it. In a few moments (or hours, he wasn't quite sure) it would get up, a bit dazed, and go on to its normal life. It'd probably land the street and scare some people, thinking it was starting to rain dead birds.
"Hm, don't think I've seen you around before," she mumbled. "The name's Frostbite...Frostbite Doe."
She squinted at the new girl, trying to keep her in focus. While typically able to tolerate alcohol Frostbite was having an unusually hard time doing so at that moment. "Y-You going out to da field soon?" The sound of rustling clothing or armor grabbed Frostbite's attention. She turned to see Tasha, and stood up abruptly, waving her arms about like an idiot.
"Tasha! Hey Tasha! C'mon here an' have a couple of drinks wid me." The sudden movement of standing knocked the bottle out of Frostbite's grasp, falling to the ground. The liquor spilled onto the ground, wasted.
Vitali made his way over towards Rahn shortly after the other soldier had griped at him. He had an acoustic guitar strapped on his back, and a bottle of gin in each hand. He stood at the bottom of the tree and looked up to Rahn with a slight smirk on his face.
Vitali tossed one of the bottles up to Rahn, and shortly after, popped the cap off of his own bottle and took a drink.
"So i heard that Jenkins was giving you a hard time again huh? Ah don't mind him. He's just a suckup, trying to make himself look good in front of the boss. We all got a good laugh at how he's the only one already dressed in his battle armor even though the fight is still a day away."
Vitali hadn't interacted with Rahn much before, but he figured now was as good a time as any. There may not be much time to get to know him, or anyone else for that matter, after tonight.
Alana laughed " nice to meet you,I'm Alana" she grinned like a drukered. She could get drunk off living "yep,I'm heading that way" she stood around the same time Frostbite did and watched the beer fall and spil on the ground. With a sudden urge Alana grabbed Frostbite's arm "come on,let get another drink before going to the field. what do ya say?"
Tasha turned around, acknowledging that she had heard the woman's words, but didn't move. Poor Frostbite. She had gotten herself drunk again. It wasn't necessarily all that common, but it had certainly happened before. There was another girl with Frostbite, so Tasha figured that she didn't need to step in as of yet. Nodding her head slightly towards the girl helping out Frostbite, Tasha turned around and debated going inside to sleep.
Kite was sitting with a group of soldiers not far from Frostbite and the others. They were all drinking, laughing, having a good time on this wonderful evening. As he heard the sound of Frostbite's bottle of booze smashing on the ground, he looked up to see what had happened. Nothing serious it looked like, just her being rather clumsy in her drunken stupor. He noticed though that Tasha was standing alone, and looking up into the sky, appearing to be deep in thought. He felt that it was a bit unsettling to see her like that at a time like this. So he got up, and casually walked over from behind Tasha. He put his left hand on her left shoulder and leaned in to her right, speaking softly.
Frostbite shook the woman's arm off in a drunken stupor. She took a step forward and nearly fell forward. But she managed to mumbled a few chosen words.
"Wasted... Head... Spinnin'... Wanna have a lay?"
Of course Frostbite wasn't being absolutely serious. The alcohol was really really getting to her. But she nodded her head to Alana's question, and grabbed the doorknob back into the keep. However she had forgotten that her officer had kept it locked to keep her outside. "Hey - W-Why ish the door locked?" Twisted and turning the damn thing didn't make it open, so Frostbite started bashing her shoulder up against it. "Open up! C'mon I just some moar drinks!"
KeRahn was surprised at Vitali's presence. He was even more surprised when he threw up a drink to him. Catching it, he proceeded to snap off the top and gulp a large portion of it. KeRahn didn't really like human beverages since they weren't strong enough in his opinion. But a drink was a drink and he thought it was better than nothing.
KeRahn didn't know much about Vitali. Compared to the other soldiers, he wasn't bad. He didn't gripe or complain about him like the others did. If the other Purgers were like him maybe he'd enjoy his job a little more. Well, you couldn't get everything you wanted. He looked down at him from his resting place on the branch.
"So i heard that Jenkins was giving you a hard time again huh? Ah don't mind him. He's just a suckup, trying to make himself look good in front of the boss. We all got a good laugh at how he's the only one already dressed in his battle armor even though the fight is still a day away." Vitali said to him, before taking a sip from his own drink.
KeRahn shrugged and let his tail droop off from the side of the branch. "I'm used to it. He's an idiot. He spends all his time kissing the boss's ass." He took another gulp from his bottle and ran his tongue over his teeth. "What about you? How're things going in your bend?"
Tasha flinched slightly when she felt someone place their hand on her shoulder, but allowed herself to relax as she heard a slightly familiar voice ask her if she was worried about something. Shifting slightly to disengage his hand, she shrugged. "As worried as should be normal," she replied coolly. "I'm just wondering why so many people are celebrating what might be their last few days on this planet. We're going to war tomorrow. What's to celebrate?" she hated how her tone became harsher as she finished her sentence, but couldn't change how it had come out.
Kite removed his hand as she shifted. He stepped around and stood in front of her, looking down at her due to their height difference.
"We all know that this could be our last full day alive. But it's that same reason that we're celebrating. Celebrating life, and everything that we have to be happy about. Whether it's family or a lover waiting for us to come home, or even something as simple and sitting and having a good laugh. Because this might be our last day, don't you think it would be better to try and enjoy it while you can? Rather than worrying about what might happen?"
He smiled to her, sincerely. One could easily tell that he truly believed everything he just said.
Tasha sat still for a moment, sorting out the argument in her mind. "Maybe so," She began slowly, "but if we spend today slacking off instead of preparing ourselves, whether physically or mentally, what'll happen to us in battle? All those soldiers getting drunk right now, they'll be heading into war with a hangover." she frowned pointedly in the direction of the partying men then looked back up at Kite. "In any case, I have nothing to celebrate. No family, no lover. You however, can go celebrate." she granted him a short smile, trying to seem less grumpy and bitter. "I'm sure you have someone to go home to at the end of this, right?"
Sieg sat alone, in his mind he envisioned the upcoming battle. The sounds of weaponfire, clashes of steel on steel, the muffled gasps of death as people fell to the ground. He'd step over the fallen on either side and press on, the objective must be accomplished. It's not that the killing didn't affect him, but he learned long ago to shut it out, the time for loss would come after the fight, but now he completed the same mental ritual he did before every mission. He would set his mind straight, account for every concievable contingency. He'd given a speech to his squad earlier, briefing them on their upcoming duty. He'd used words like honor, glory, and freedom. They'd soon learn themselves the meanings of the words sacrifice, duty, and loss. Their objective was no simple task, but it could be done, and the tactical rewards from the mission far outweighed the risks. Visions of smoke-filled corridors drifted before his eyes.
Cigar smoke exhaled through his nostrils as he looked up and forced a smile toward a celebrating soldier looking in his direction, lifting his glass in a half-toast toward him and his compatriots. Morale is important, and he wouldn't let his silent contemplation be mistaken for uncertainty about the day to come. Most of his squad had never seen combat, but they've been trained, and trained rigorously. He didn't doubt their capability or courage. He'd encouraged his squad to enjoy the current day, a task made simpler due to the obliviousness toward the existance of the Purgers. Hell, he'd not known of their existance himself until he awoke in one of their clinics, life saved by one of their medics.
Extinguishing his cigar into the tray, he stood, dropped a tip on the bar, and walked to the door. Time for some fresh air.
"Oh, pretty good i guess. About as good as it can be when we're this close to the big day. You ready to get down to business tomorrow?" Vitali answered back to KeRahn.
KeRahn shrugged. "Eh. Not exactly looking forward to it but not dreading it either." He finished off the drink in another gulp and threw it up in the air. Quickly grabbing a small pistol from his belt, he aimed fast and squeezed the tripper. A small beam shot out and hit the glass. It shattered with a sharp sound and fell to the ground in many tiny shards. Luckily, nobody was underneath them and they landed harmlessly on the ground. It glinted strongly in the light. KeRahn grinned. "Heh, still a pretty good fucking shot. Someone should get Jenkins to clean it up." KeRahn leaned back, hands behind his head.
"Curfew will start soon, and by the time we get to our final mission briefing, whatever hangovers the soldiers have should pass. Headaches can be handled with a stim or two. We've all been through our training, we're ready for this. YOU are ready for this."
He paused for a moment before speaking again, sighing quietly during the pause.
"I was an only child. My dad died 5 years ago, and my mom died last year. And no i don't have a wife or a lover... So you're not the only one fighting without anyone to go home to..."
He smiled to her again, in the same sincere way as before. He didn't seem saddened by what he had said.
"But i'm still celebrating with them, because after tonight, I will be sent to the front lines. Of all the soldiers here, my platoon has the highest mortality chance. But I will do my duty to the best of my ability, and i will carve a path for you and the rest of the forces to follow. But tonight..."
His smile faded as he spoke, and was now completely gone. His current expression was one of deep thought, and his gaze had lost its focus. He seemed now like he was looking through her, rather than at her. But after another short pause, he caught up to himself, and his focus returned.
"Tonight, we will enjoy what we have. And even if you have no family, you have friends. You have comrades who will fight for you, even if they don't know your name. This is my family now... All of them, and even you."
He smiled again to her, waiting for her reply, as if he was prepared to continue trying to cheer her up.