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Old 2013-02-21, 07:21 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
Sonny
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Post The Eternal Soldier


I tried to write something a bit more lore-based . You can find this and all of my other Planetside 2 lore stories here: http://www.talesfromauraxis.com

THE ETERNAL SOLDIER

The first time you die, your body fights back. You clasp onto life like gripping a rope as the sea envelopes you; you scream with rage, your limbs thrash like a caged Kraken, your lungs roar with deep spasms, your breath labours until the last second, until finally, you shudder into darkness. The second time you die, you feel nothing. Your body accepts the turning as if fading to sleep. You silently embrace the blessed solitude in amongst the chaos of total war.

I have died nearly 10,000 times. I have killed countless thousands more. Most of those I knew have long gone. I have no family, no home to go to. I am nothing more than a shell, an empty vessel through which the hammer of the Terran Republic may smash their enemies and return peace to Auraxis. I am one of the last originals. I am the 100-year soldier.

But what of the others? A few were victims of the failed Terran re-birthing experiments on desolate Searhus. Many more slowly decayed as their twisted minds curled their bodies into mere husks of the warriors they once were. Tortured souls who begged for the temporary respite of death each night rather than face the mounting horrors that plagued their sleep. But not me; I taught myself to stop dreaming. I guess I was born for this war.

You may find my story strange, but I was once mortal, much like you. A sleepy town in a sleepy country. But with time, the anger and backstabbing within the Congress grew and grew. Neighbours took sides against each other and their children were taken one by one for training by the Terran Republic or the New Conglomerate. Of course, at the time this was called ‘civil service’ or ‘internships’, but we all knew what that really meant; the tension from the riots would bubble into war eventually. Conscription was hard for us young folk. The schools finally closed after the bombings on Forseral and we were shipped out in days, filled to the brim with stories of the glory of the Republic and the promise of returning home before Christmas to my girlfriend and baby child… If only I’d known.

My class went to boot camp on Amerish. Only Orno and I were selected for Advanced Training. We were sent to the bare foothills of Mount Searhus. There are few things that I refuse to talk about. But my time in that… camp… is one of those. You see, Vanu re-birthing technology hadn’t been adapted to our ageing systems at that time. So, they experimented on us… 90% of the young, enthusiastic recruits that entered were dead after three months; crippled or reduced to a vegetative state, executed and burned to hide the evidence. Orno didn’t make it. The only soldier I ever met that I could call a friend.

It was at this camp I was first greased. A knife to the chest, a two minute struggle and it was done. I awoke two days later in the respawn tube as groggy as a two-day hangover. Only seven others made it through the first trials. I still don’t know how I got out. Somehow, I endured.

We were shipped to the Kaorr desert and deployed on standby in a bunker hidden deep underground. Command knew something was up. The media still plays it as a surprise attack, but we were tracking their forward troop movements for weeks. We also knew that the Conglomerate had sourced weapons and technology from the Vanu cultists. We were prepared for anything.

When the Conglomerate assaulted the prison compound that night, it was our squad that fired the first shots. Despite all the training, the first theft of life takes your breath away; I remember my fingers turning the ice as the bullet passed straight through the young woman’s chest. I see her deathly smile sometimes, even now. We slaughtered dozens of them at the gates, as you no doubt will have heard. One hour later the Conglomerate generals finally realised with horror that re-birthing technology was a reality – fully operational and in the hands of the Terran Republic. It was only then that they brought in their armies. I find it bitterly ironic that this technology developed by Vanu hands in order to end all war was the cause of this whole goddamned mess.

The Conglomerate, petrified of the unlimited potential of our new technology, immediately set out to scorch the earth beneath our feet before it could spread. The true extent of their years of evasion, lies and treachery bore fruit as decades of hidden munitions - banned under our hollow peace treaties - rained down on the once-glorious Republican Capitals across Amerish, Ceryshen and Forseral. As I pulled the countless bodies of men, women and children from the burning rubble, I learnt the hard truth behind the false Conglomerate claims to ‘Liberty’. We were the last on the front line as the missiles fell upon us, the ‘Re-birthers’, the superheroes of the Republic.

The Vanu cultists were just a group of bickering intellectuals and fundamentalist Briggs-lovers at this time. But soon they found that they’d bitten off more than they could chew as the Republic and Conglomerate assaulted them from all sides for sole control of the latest Vanu re-birthing systems. Fleeing to the hills, they disappeared into the impassable frozen tundra of Esamir, their technology gone with them, or so we thought. However much I dislike the crazy buggers, I can understand that what we did, to their towns and people, made them raw. There were some good folk in the Sovereignty before the hard times, before the Fundamentalists took over. None left now.

Those first months were the glory days. Immortal, we won battle after battle. Killing was hard at first, when those you murdered were gone forever. But when you don’t fear for your own life anymore, when death means a two-hour sleep instead of the end of all things, soon murder becomes as meaningless and casual as signing your name, or sending a letter. Besides, we were the unstoppable Searhus squad; our faces were on the war posters and news reels. We did some crazy stuff in those times! We were superstars. Death is what our adoring public, expected, no, demanded!

When the Conglomerate fought back with the first Iron brigades, our joy quickly ground into the grim realisation that neither side would ever gain or lose ground when no soldier could ever truly fall. Months turned into years of muddy, ashen slog across continent after continent as the war expanded over the globe like a cancer. Hossin, Searhus, Indar laid to waste under attack after endless counter-attack. When the Vanu Sovereignty finally struck back with their ultimate vengeance, their savage ferocity rendered our towns to rubble, their superior technology and firepower drove both the Republic and Conglomerate almost to extinction during the Dark Winter. Our families were deported to refugee camps at the furthest extremities of Auraxis, never to be heard from again. A desperate pact between the Republic and New Conglomerate denied the final two continents to the Vanu, but the partnership was short-lived as old feuds were re-ignited when the danger passed.

What’s to say since then? You know the story – countless deaths, countless killings, no progress on any battlefront, the towns levelled and the Auraxian people scattered. I expect that in my old life I would be a ‘grand-father’ by now… Although none of that matters today, I still think about it sometimes.

The few loyal, older troopers left like me get moved into counter-intelligence. You wouldn’t believe how many veterans go off the rails as their death counter ticks up to 10,000. Most accept the retirement package, of course, they have little choice. But still, the more daring ones try to defect, or simply to escape into the wilderness. Right now, there are tens of colonies just kilometres beyond this base harbouring deserters. Most try to set up some new society or religion something like that, others just wander, driven mad from years of relentless carnage. My orders are to dispose of them, to parade their heads around the training grounds. The young folk these days are skittish and need to be shown first-hand the penalties of ‘errors of judgement’ before they get their own ideas.

Despite our efforts, I still get the same gut feeling that I had before any of this started, that something is bubbling underneath the surface. The desertions, the defections, the refused orders, the escapes. They’re growing exponentially. The more we try to stamp out the fire, the more it spreads. It’s as if the young ones don’t buy the party line anymore. Well, to be honest, neither do I.

I used to believe their lies: “No matter we put you through, no matter what you do for us, sacrifice your lives willingly; for you, for your future, for eternal peace, for glory and the restoration of the Republic! Can’t you see? The Terran Republic is the only force for good in this world. The only hope for glory! Do not accept the hidden lies of the corporate paymasters in the Conglomerate or submit to a return to the dark ages under the Vanu Sovereignty!” Hah! That’s the spiel… I used to shout it at the top of my lungs. Do I believe it anymore?

When you get to the grand age of 9,746 deaths, you realise that nothing your superiors can do to you can be worse than the humiliation, destitution and mutilation inflicted upon you in year upon year of struggle. I reject them! I reject of all the factions and their warring; Terran, Conglomerate or Vanu – I wish to see this War through to its end only to see order and peace one more time in our great society, to rest one final time… But I know deep down it will never happen. My task is eternal. My days are dull; where is the colour in life, the contrast? Why won’t they let me rest?

What will the world remember me for? Will Auraxis remember me? Did I make an impression? Did I do good? No. I am a scourge. Nothing more than a murderer. Worse – a tyrant. Do you know how many I killed? How many innocents? The sum total of my 100 years of sacrifice is a dark stain of misery and hatred upon the face of Auraxis. They will curse my memory. So much regret… If I could take it back? What would I do?

So is my fate. I could run away. But I could not return to civilian life now; I have no-one to return to. The people can see the war in your eyes, the wild eyes. I have fought 100 years and I shall fight 100 more if they ask me to. But I don’t fight for loyalty or freedom or the good of the people. I fight because fighting is the only thing I have ever known. The destruction, the hate, the killing are hopelessly intertwined within my malignant soul, and I will continue to bring bitter death to those who stand in my way, consequence be damned. I am too far gone to be retired, they will have to de-spawn me, put me down like the old, rabid dog I am. I yearn for nothing in life anymore. End this torment. End it! Please! Let me sleep!....

I should get back to work. Yes, if you publish this, they may come for me, but still, I’m the best at what I do. They’ll probably just ignore me and call me a cranky old coot or somewhat. So be it, I’m tired. You’re from Cyssor? Do you know the foothills close to Honsi? My village used to be there, buried now, of course. Have you heard of a Gloria, Gloria Havens? We would be married now. No, no matter. One day I will join them, and rest for good this time. But please, don’t do what I did. Keep your loved ones close. Our world doesn’t need yet another damned, eternal soldier.

Last edited by Sonny; 2014-01-20 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 2013-03-21, 08:07 AM   [Ignore Me] #2
TheAadvark
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Re: The Eternal Soldier


You should just make a series based on various times in this characters lives. From the enlistment to the first years of the war , and so on until the 10000th death. I wish SOE would take a look at this.
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Old 2013-03-28, 01:06 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
Micro
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You are awesome! What aren't more people reading these amazing stories? Heck, this is awesome!
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Old 2013-04-04, 09:23 AM   [Ignore Me] #4
Sarmane
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Re: The Eternal Soldier


You have written a well balanced piece that helps frame the context and involve some backstory elements up till now of the conflict in a way I find entertaining. I liked this alot and would love to read some more.

SOE, give this guy the greenlight to help expand the lore of this game for us junkies.
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Old 2013-04-19, 12:14 AM   [Ignore Me] #5
Imperaxum
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Re: The Eternal Soldier


That was amazing. I've never thought of the respawn process that way... beautiful, man. Beautiful.
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