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[Fanfiction] Someday

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(The following is a fiction in two scenes, utilizing characters from the Warframe canon. I would really appreciate people reading it all and responding with their honest thoughts, so I can get better as a writer. Please post feedback, constructive criticism, and other comments in the thread. If you like it, say why. If you don't like it, say why.)


Fifteen percent.


The digital voice of the artificial intelligence was barely audible over the clamor in the room. Grineer scientists huddled over a petri dish, holding all manner of scanners and needles and emitters. One of them depressed the plunger on a syringe, and a drop of opalescent liquid plopped into the dish. Excitement thrummed in the air like a storm cloud.


Twenty-eight percent.


“Inject the type A and C nanospore solutions on my mark. Mark!” One of the Grineer said. The small name badge on his coat read “Regor”


Fifty-three percent.


“Now the enzyme wash followed by electric current, then the bonding agent. Now!”


Ninety-six percent.


Silence entered the room only to be pushed out by a collective gasp and sounds of jubilation: Claps on backs, laughter. The grins were so bright and bold, you could almost hear them too.


Ninety-five percent.




Eighty-six percent.


“Subject it to 1 second bursts of ultraviolet radiation! Now, now damn you!”


Forty-four percent.


“No. No, no, no!”


Two percent.




Zero percent. Complete cell death registered. Experiment failure.


The silence came back. This time, it did not leave.


“Clean it up.”


“Yes, Regor.”


A Grineer scientist took the petri dish and the inert culture it contained off of the research table, and tossed it into the incinerator. The rest of the scientists left the table, jotting down notes into digital displays. They patted one another on the back in condolence. They sighed.


Tyl Regor leaned over the inert culture in the dish with his hands on either side, staring at the spot where the petri dish had been as if it were still there. Like he could still see something.


One of the scientists approached him.




There was no reply.


“We should stop. This path is taking us nowhere.” Emboldened by the lack of argument, he continued. “We have seen progress, yes, but no real success in almost two years. Two years, Regor! In that time, we have made no headway in the war effort.”


Regor did not move. The scientist went on.


“We could do so much with this research! If we weaponized what you’ve discovered, turned this solution against our enemies as a plague, just think of what we could –“


The scientist only stopped speaking when Regor rushed him, forearm pressed against his throat. He slammed the scientist against the wall so hard that it broke the shelf there, sending beakers and vials to shatter on the floor. The scientist opened his mouth to try and breathe and Regor put a scalpel inside, touching the blade against his tongue.


“If you do not want that poisonous tongue cut out, then you will hold it now.”


The scientist’s eyes bulged, like the terror was trying to push them out of his skull.


Regor turned to look over his shoulder. The rest of the scientists were staring at him, their mouths ajar.


“We do not stop.” He said. “None of you leave, none of you stop, until we reach one hundred percent. Our goal is total, genetic, perfection.” He looked back to the dangling scientist. “Am I understood?”


The scientist nodded.


Regor dropped the scientist. He took short, ragged breaths as he tried to push air back into his brain. He bled from a nick caused by the scalpel.


“Set up another set of cultures. We will be trying again tomorrow.”


He left as the other scientists went to pick up their colleague.




The door to Regor’s personal quarters slid open. Light streamed in from the hallway, but failed to fully illuminate the dark room.


He stepped inside and turned on the lights. They flared brightly before he dimmed them to a low, comfortable level.


Most of the chamber was occupied by machinery and equipment.  A small recycling generator powered everything in the room. The rest of the space was cluttered with computers and monitors. A centrifuge and some vials sat stacked in the corner. A bed had been anchored to the side wall.


And in the center of the room, hooked up to a breathing machine, a morphine drip and a console of dials and screens, was a large cylindrical tank.


Within the tank was a woman, her body strange and tumorous but still recognizably human. Tubes fed in and out of her, moving oxygen, nutrients, chemicals and waste. She hung there, submerged in viscous, orange fluid, completely still.


“I’m home.” Regor said. He looked over the console.


“The bath looks a little warm today.” He turned a few dials and the glow around the base of the tank faded. Condensation formed on the glass.


“The Queens are very pleased with how my work is progressing. They increased my funding. I will be expanding the laboratory. And I think I can skim some credits off the top to make this room a little nicer. You like those flowers from Earth. I will have some of those delivered.”


Bubbles rose in the tank.


“We were very close today. Ninety-six percent. We missed it by only a little bit. Only a little bit. If the treatments had held, I think we could have done it today.”


The morphine dripped.


“I started looking at infested cultures. I believe they might hold the key. If I could just isolate the correct protein chain in the virus I think I could trigger a reaction that would let us format the nucleotides as we saw fit. It’s… It’s just that it’s not working yet. It’s all very complicated. I wish you could understand. I wish I could explain it to you.”


A machine buzzed to quiet life, a few lights flashed, and it hummed back into the background noise.


Regor placed a small roller on top of the console, made of cloth and packed with plush material.


“I had this made for you today. I remembered how you used to play with them and I thought… I am not sure what I was thinking. That maybe today, I would be able to give it to you. That maybe today would be the day. But I…”


His voice shook.


"I am sorry. That is all I can say. I am so sorry that for now, this is all I can do for you. That this cancerous body is the best I can manage. I am sorry that day after day, the best I can do is to distract you with the details of my failures and numbing, chemical warmth. I am sorry."


The oxygen pump wheezed up and down.


"But someday I will solve this. Someday, you will be free of this silicon cage. Someday you will feel the wind on your cheek, curl you toes in the grass. Someday I will hold you in my arms again and hear your voice. Someday, you will wake up." He wiped away the vapor gathered on the glass so that he could see her face. She had his eyes. He had been so proud when they’d told him she had his eyes.


"I will keep working, forging towards that someday. I will make this all better for you. I promise my dear, someday.”


He pressed his head against the glass, wishing it wasn’t between them, wishing he could hold her. Tears splashed onto the console.


“Someday, my daughter.”

Edited by TheThreadWeaver
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Author's Notes



There's a lot I want to talk about here.


I decided that I wanted to do a more depressing, helpless kind of story that would resonate on an emotional level with people who are going through a situation similar to the one shown here: I kind of desperate hopefulness, along with the sense that things have been this way for a while, to create a slightly uncomfortable, stifling situation.


I focused on Regor early on mostly because of his general motives represented in the game, and because he's kind of the "forgotten child" when it comes to Warframe - he's still running around with a placeholder model, for goodness sake. But more than that there is his overall mission, and the reason we are sent to kill him in general: Regor doesn't create weapons. He doesn't start wars. He isn't hunting down Tenno cryopods, or assassinating diplomats or spreading propaganda. Regor's is the surprisingly benign desire to simply reverse the genetic damage done to the Grineer race. It was a sentiment that was much more sympathetic than any of the others presented in the game so far.


Once I'd decided on Regor, everything else seemed to fall into place. A lost, incapacitated or sick loved one is a very relatable sentiment, as most of us have been in Regor's shoes at some point in our life. It's a sense of futility, of being incapable. It hurts. The pain Regor feels is one that we can all feel, and that brings him closer to us not as an enemy, but as a person.


I'd thought of having the person in the tank be a loved one early on. I eventually decided on it being his daughter to make the impact more powerful for Regor. Among the Grineer, a society of clones, a child is so much more important. It would validate a lot of the riskier things Regor might resort to, such as working with Infested tissue, or maybe even trying to capture a living Tenno. Why? Who knows. But family can make a person crazy. He's a man walking a precipice, and the people around him are really starting to see it.


If I end up doing a revision of this story - which I probably will - I think I will cut out the entire first scene. It doesn't start very strong, basically just spitting numbers and techno-babble at you, and while it does show how frustrated and desperate Regor is it also basically serves as a massive buffer for the real meat of the story.


I would also change the last line to simply "Someday," both as a callback / title drop as well as to eliminate some clunky dialog. Because how often have you heard someone walk up to their kid and say "Hello, my son / daughter?" At this point revisions are all about creating a natural flow that still maintains the overall tone of Warframe.


Edited by TheThreadWeaver
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