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Old 2013-04-25, 01:53 AM   [Ignore Me] #1
The Glory of Vanu

The Glory of Vanu

"I don't know why I'm even friends with you." David complained for the tenth time in the past six hours.
"Because I'm the only person in this whole platoon who can stand your constant whining." replied Malachi with a sigh.

Both soldiers stood underneath a catwalk, in the base of a large pit, dug deep into the ground of Auraxis. Half buried bones of some large carnivore thrust towards the desert sky. David opened his mouth to respond only to choke as a sudden gust of wind blew sand and dust into both their faces.

Once he stopped coughing David muttered bitterly, "My next pay day, I'm going to go buy myself one of those second generation helmets with the face guard attachment. As often as your mouth gets us stuck with guard duty on Indar, it will be a good investment!"
"It's not my fault that I like to ask questions." complained Malachi. "The whole belief system of our Order is based on the search for knowledge!"

"There's searching for knowledge and then there's asking blasphemous questions." David replied with the droning tone of someone who has said the same thing hundreds of times, to no avail.

"All I said" continued Malachi," was 'If the Vanu were as advanced as we know they were, there should be repositories of their technology all over the galaxy, if not the universe! Why aren't we searching everywhere, instead of just holding up here and fighting over the few vaults and ruins that are on this Vanu forsaken planet?' It's a logical and valid question! In fact..."

"In fact, you said it in front of a Paragon of Vanu," interrupted David "who then reprimanded you in front of the entire squad for your questioning the glorious superiority of Vanu and for taking Vanu's name in vain, and then talked to our Platoon leader about your punishment. You're lucky he left the punishment up to Centurion Stevens or else we wouldn't even be so lucky as to be guarding a ditch in the middle of a Vanu forsaken desert!"

"Is that what you think this is?" said a third voice from behind them. Both Malachi and David jerked in surprise, their guns raising reflexively, till they suddenly recognized the speaker. The two soldiers bowed deeply to the Centurion who stepped out from behind a stack of NS shipping crates.
"This isn't just a ditch in a desert my sons. This archeological dig site is one of many amazing opportunities to learn of the glory of Vanu." Centurion Stevens smiled congenially at both of the soldiers nervous faces.
"I was once young like you two, and so full of questions. Seeking answers is the greatest joy a scientific mind can experience. Even discovering those answers often leads to the joy of more questions."

Turning to face Malachi, The Centurion gave a fatherly grin. "For one who is asking such a logical question, you are not using logic to discover your answers."
Malachi flushed a bright crimson and ducked his head. " Sorry Centurion Stevens."
Chuckling the Centurion replied, "It is often the burden of youth to want to explore. Being tied to one place can sometimes stifle ones spirit. Think of the logistics of your question. It is obvious the great Vanu spread elsewhere, and other, greater minds than ours have even pinpointed certain planets they may have visited."

Centurion Stevens clasped his hands behind his back and began pacing back and forth, looking as if he were in an Academy Lecture Hall, instead of in a desert on a war torn world. "A space ships, as you can imagine, is incredibly expensive, as is it's required fuel. There is the cost of the crew, the scientists and all the supplies to keep them alive in the rigors of space. Funding just one such expedition will cost more money than you would see in five lifetimes, Disciple, and yet you talk about funding hundreds of them as if money is not an object."
Malachi turned an even deeper shade of crimson as Centurion Stevens continued, " Think my son. Think! We "know" there are Vanu technology reserves buried on this planet, but even more importantly is what this planet is!"

Stevens leaned forward, his voice hushed in awe "You are standing on Auraxis. This is "the" mineral and ore richest planet in the known universe."
The two soldiers looked at each other for half a second before returning their attention back to the Centurion.

Resuming his pacing, Stevens continued, "While we are here, we not only have the ability to defend the Vanu's remaining technology from the hypocritical Republic and ignorant Conglomerate, but we have access to gather what wealth we can, to help fund those same expeditions you so longingly wished for!"
"I understand now Centurion Stevens." said Malachi as he bowed deeply to his platoon leader. "You have shown me a wonderful chain of logic and in turn have given me much to think on. I thank you."

Centurion Stevens gave a slight bow in return and walking away from the two soldiers, remarked over his shoulder, "You are welcome young Malachi, but in the future be careful what you speak. In my day, getting a platoon stuck with this kind of guard duty, would of gotten you beaten half to death in your bunk, by pillow casings full of rocks."

"It still might." murmured David, who pointedly ignored Malachi's sidelong glare.

The two Disciples stood in silence for a short time, each reflecting on the Centurions words. Their contemplation was shattered by a light assault yelling from his perch on top of a communications tower. "Armor Column incoming! We have an Armor Column incoming!"

David and Malachi heard Centurion Stevens voice crackle with authority over their coms unit, "Stop shouting into your mike Mickinly, we can all hear you just fine! What direction are they coming from?"
"From the southeast sir, sorry sir!" replied Mickinly.
"All right you heard him," said Stevens "I want all Anti-Vehicle Turrets and every heavy assault unit up on that southern ridge! Asses and elbows people, move, move, MOVE!"

Malachi looked over at David, grinning like a maniac as he shouldered his rifle and began the start up sequence on his Lancer rocket launcher. "Looks like this guard duty won't be so boring after all!"
"Good," David said as they both started sprinting for the southern ridge, "I was getting tired of standing in one spot for so long!"
"See you after the fight!" Malachi yelled over the sound of tank shells exploding against the nearby buildings.
"Or in the rebirthing chambers!" David retorted with a smirk and a nod.
Centurion Stevens voice cut in over the com unit "For the Glory of Vanu!"
Forty seven voices rose together in a shout that echoed through the archeological dig site
"For the Glory of Vanu!"
"The Way of the Samurai is found in death. When it comes to either/or, there is only the quick choice of death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance" - The Hagakure

Last edited by Carrionghoul; 2013-04-28 at 03:24 AM.
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Old 2013-04-25, 11:45 AM   [Ignore Me] #2
First Sergeant
Re: The Glory of Vanu

Hi Carrionghoul,
Nice story! I really like how expanded on the background of the Vanu, and I think the dialogue was really well done. If I could change one thing (minor point), it would be to make the voices of David and Malachi a bit different from each other, as the way they spoke was quite similar and so they didn't have very distinctive personalities for me. On the other hand, I thought the Centurion was done very well .

More to come with this story or is it a one off?

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Old 2013-04-25, 01:35 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
Sergeant Major
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I love this one! Great work!
Hope to see more of you!
For Vanu!
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