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Aftermath


Darayas
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Thank you, DE. The event wasn't perfect, but it was a fantastic start. I loved the little bit of roleplaying that we had on the forums, but most of all I greatly appreciated the fact that players could finally influence the in-game environment through the weight of their actions. The rewards and battle-pay were most generous, as well.

 

It was exciting to see the community so fired up about the event - whether you were Team Sacrifice, Team Loyalty, or Team Greed. Kudos to all sides for the effort they put in. The tenacious Grineer comebacks, the inevitable steamrolling of nodes, and the valiant efforts by the Corpus supporters to hold back the red tide. All these will be remembered.

 

Now let's get back to crushing Corpus and Grineer heads.

 

The Grineer Napalm heaved as another wracking cough tore through his body.

 

He knew he was dying. He'd known this for quite some time. Wounds of this magnitude his regenerative cells could not repair - they could only staunch some of the bleeding, and draw out his agonizing death for a couple more hours.

 

 He'd always known that he would fall in battle, but not like this. Not alone and unremembered, propped up against the shuddering folds of a boarding bridge, with no medicae to retrieve his brain and gene-vials. He could never be cloned again. This wasn't just a fall. This was death in its truest and most certain of forms.

 

 Silent footsteps echoed softly down the length of the bridge. In midnight clad, a lone Tenno stalked his way off the scored and burnt wreckage of the Corpus frigate. Severed heads hung loosely from his belt and dangled with every step. Some of them still trailed blood.

 

 "Tenno," the Napalm called out.

 

 The Tenno turned. His eyeless helm jerked unnaturally to face him. It cast his gaze upon him as an apex predator might regard its prey. Smoke wafted lazily out of one of its arms, but the rest of its shape was an indistinct silhouette to him, like blur shapes from childhood memories.

 

 "I'm fading out," he grunted, "but that was one hell of a victory."

 

 The Tenno nodded slowly, uncertainly, as if not knowing what to reply. 

 

 "Look," he said. "Tell me the truth - I'm not going to make it, am I?"

 

 There was a moment of silence before the Tenno spoke. 

 

 “No. Your torso is severed below the waist. Your red armour – I cannot tell where the paint ends and the blood begins.”

 

 The Napalm’s throaty laugh turned into a violent cough. Blood trickled copiously from his mouth. “Some victory! Damn the Sisters to hell for sending me here.”

 

 “Do the honours then,” he grit his teeth and grinned. “One last one.”

 

 In a smooth motion, the Tenno drew an elegant pair of cast-ferrite revolvers from his hip.

 

 “Before you do it…” started the Grineer. With the little strength he had left, he reached into his holster pocket and tossed a holographic projector to the Tenno.

 

 “Take this. I hope you’ll wear it. Tell them we fought together, side-by-side, and drove the interlopers from their dusty homes like cattle. Tell them it was you and me that did it.”

 

 Noiselessly, the Tenno took the projector and nodded. It fixed it to its right shoulder-guard. As the projector adhered to the organic muscle-weave, it sputtered out a stylized image of a Grineer helm.  

 

 “You have my respect, Tenno. May your brothers and sisters be safe. Ruk is a bastard, but he’s a warrior. He’s got honour in his old bones. He won’t go after the cryopods.

 

 “Now do what you have to do.”

 

 A single gunshot tore apart the graveyard silence of the boarding bridge. For some time, it echoed hollowly through corridors and chambers, until once again only silent footsteps broke the very heavy quiet. 

 

 

The red dust of Mars got into everything. It got into rifles and clogged up the laser diodes. It got into the jumpsuits and made them ride up and itch. It got into helmets, it got into visors, it got into rebreathers.

 

It got into eyes and made them water heavily, and that was why tears were spilling down his cheeks as they threw him at their feet. It was the dust. It was just the dust, only the dust.

 

 “Please,” he whimpered. “Please.”

 

 “Get up, Corpus,” one of them breathed. Their glowing eye-slits lit up the dusk with a malicious and hungry light. In their mottled armour, the Grineer marines looked almost beetle-like.

 

 But beetles didn’t torture. Beetles didn’t kill, and maim, and burn entire worlds.

 

 They dragged him up to stand, then knocked him down again into the dust. Their laughter rang throughout the cavern like the baying of jackals.

 

 “Look at the insect squirm,” they growled. One of them, with a yellow carapace, grabbed a hold of his collar and punched him. The armour-clad fist drove like a sledgehammer into his face. He felt something break, and the overwhelming taste of copper was on his lips as his vision faded in and out.

 

 “Squirm, insect! I want to watch you squirm!”

 

 The yellow Grineer dropped him, and the squad began savaging him with vicious kicks. He did his best to crawl into a ball and shield his face.

 

 “None of you unworthy worms are warriors,” laughed yellow-back. “Why would your commanders send you here for anything else but to die?”

 

 He agreed with everything. He wasn’t a warrior. He was just a colonist. He’d signed on with the corporation because that was the only job that he could get. The corporation had run every other firm out of business. He’d mortgaged the house and bought a tiny apartment to house his pa and ma, and wife and two sons.

 

 He would’ve told them he just needed the money. That he didn’t even know how to reload the Dera that they’d given him, much less aim it, because they told him he would most likely never need to (that was their way of saying he would die before it ran out of ammunition).

 

 All he’d signed on for was to mine minerals on the asteroids off the surface of Mars, and earn his credits. He sent a kitty of three quarters of his earnings back every month and worked overtime on days off to earn some more. Even then, it was just enough to cover what the family needed.

 

 He would’ve told them that pa committed suicide 5 months ago because he couldn’t afford the morphine, and the pain was killing him faster than the cancer was. He would’ve told them it was hereditary, that it had skipped a generation and his second son was already showing the symptoms. He would’ve told them his wife had already lost their firstborn to it 2 weeks before the invasion.

 

 But he was sure they wouldn’t have cared. They’d just have found his family and killed them all too.

 

 So he said nothing, and let them kick him til his bones broke.

 

 He could hear a grand, torturous groaning in the distance. That was the sound of Corpus ships in orbit. The Grineer attack craft were disengaging, retracting their boarding bridges. They would leave the battered wreckage of the Corpus cruisers to fall back down to Mars and burn up upon re-entry, or float adrift in the void as lifeless and hollowed-out carcasses.

 

 The war was most definitely over.

 

 Yellow-back and his friends had stopped the kicking. They’d wandered off for a moment, but now they returned. Dimly, he could make out the shapes of flux rifles in their hands.

 

 He heard the low whine of energy build-up. The air suddenly smelt of ozone. Thermal backvent broiled and swept over his face.

 

 The concentrated heat of five simultaneous discharges cut him in half before he could cry out, and seared the red dust beneath him into glass.

Edited by Darayas
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