You don't have to understand the world to live in it. But an understanding of death and doom is important, probably more than hoping to live longer.
If we don't defeat and kill them all, humanity will become them... and we'll be the end race, which once flourished, but always was destined for defeat.
By the demons, a constantly growing race, which is destined to end us all, it's been seen. By seen, I mean seen by magic, a forbidden skill which I carry.
But no matter, I won't get caught with magic. I won't die by a demon's hand.
Not me, it's not my time. I'm expecting to be the last on earth, for those with skills survive the long-term. Possibly some of my comrades, but that is a very slim chance.
"Live long, and prosper." Living by these words fueled my very life, edging me to the brink of death countless times, but still pulling through.
The feeling of near-death is exhilarating, in some way, but there is always a more... evil feeling to it. To be there, on the earth, and then to not be... it's a privilege and a curse.
To be so vulnerable, yet so powerful on earth is a paradox that I've never understood.
In death, you're at the hands of Haina, the death goddess. Ruthless, dirty, and ready to torture, she's not a pleasant person. No one really on earth is a pleasant person... that's a fact.
The Magicka haters, the savers, the sinners... Haina... I know from personal experience. At death's door, she'd give you a pull, to join her and other souls. But who would join willingly?
I knew someone... at least I thought I did. Someone who'd choose death than to face me again. I don't want to be known... not well, for I'd be thrown in prison for my Magicka.
Or for my other personal crimes. Come on, filicide isn't that bad!
The other question is... what is life? It's not the opposite of death... There is still pain and suffering on both sides.
So why do we live? To die at the right time, with honor and others? Well too bad, for I have no honor or others.
Not that I'm alone, but that I don't consider any of them someone to trust and to be called... friends.
Life is a puzzle and it's hard to solve when you're in a stupid, abandoned, old military base, trying to live and fend off the demons, Not to mention, a Captian who doesn't know what he's doing
"Hurry and get to your cabin!" Captain Lyon shouts. "We got a long day of slaying tomorrow!" Me and the rest of the camp groan. He said that every day.
What course of life had gotten me here, practically in the army, except the war was against demons?
"Oi, Lyon!" I call out. "How many demons left?" Lyon gives me a look.
"Might I remind you.. That I'm still Captain of this outfit, and you-"
"Oh come on. Enough of this Captain talk, you know I'm about to take your spot." I smile. He stands taller, about six inches taller than me. But the 'army' knows that I'm mentally taller.
"Lieutenant... you have no right." Lyon's face tightens, trying not to reprimand me. He can't win.
"I do, I have the freedom of speech... Now, don't I?"
"No," His voice was hard as a rock. "Shut up and get to your cabin." I scowl.
"Aye... sir." I gave in. Why? I was going to get promoted.. But why did I give in? He's no match!
"Lieutenant!" Jakki's voice calls out. I turn to face her. She was dressed as a normal, green vest, brown undershirt, just like everyone else in this camp. "I-I need to talk to you."
"Jak, first of all, call me by my name," I say quickly. "But... My rank is important too. So, whatever you wish." I sigh. "What do you need?"
"A... ship has docked. I thought you'd want to know." She says breathlessly.
"The Captain needs to know that... not me," I mutter. "But... Okay, who are they?"
"You know that I don't like Lyon." Jakki laughs nervously. I nod, she's always had this small fear of him. I've never understood it... he's a real sissy underneath all the buff and metals.
"You don't like anyone..." I smile. "Except me."
"Right," She agrees. "You're my exception." We stand there for a few seconds as the troops file into their cabins. I start to fidget with my badges.
"So, Jak, the ship?" I asked. "Is it carrying the necessary equipment?"
"No, Lieutenant Jaya."
"For the millionth time, please. Call me by my rank, or my name. Not both!" I pause. "Dear Haina. If not the equipment, then what could it be?"
"Does it matter?" Her face was painted. "Lieu- No, Jaya, it's him."
"Really?" My voice goes up a couple of levels. "Not-"
"Not that one," Her face goes gaunt. "Not that him. It's... yeah, he's back."
"Give me a sec," I mutter. "Go to your cabin. I'll meet him." She puts her hand on my arm. It's warm and comforting, and I stare down at it.
"Putting on the old "I'm an officer" routine? Again?"
"It's my job," I answer. I had to get to the dock as soon as possible. If he's here... He's been gone for years too...
Ignoring Lyon's shouts for me to come back, I run through the wooded land towards the dock. There were rarely boats for any other purpose other than supplies and weapons.
And we rarely got those either. But the arrival of... an old officer... this was different.
He rose quickly to the top in starting, higher than me! But no worries, I'd rank up as soon as the general visits our camp.
He was coming here again? Why here, in the middle of all the trees and surrounded by water, basically an island. We didn't get any demons, but if we did they were easy to kill.
So this was just about the most boring place to be stationed at.
I finally got to the dock when I saw a maroon ship. It was him alright. When I thought he was dead, he just- Poof. Not that I care. That much.
"Oi! Hey, look! Luke, it's-" The overexcited corporal seemed relieved to finally be of use. But I wasn't paying attention to the dolt, I was staring at the stern of the ship.
It was him, with his scarred eye and unruly hair. His badges sparkled in the sunlight. The ship bobbed up and down.
"I know who it is," He mutters. "Welcome..."
"You shouldn't be welcoming me," I said. "You're the one arriving."
"This wasn't my choice to come here-"
"Mine neither. But I had no choice. Get over here." I demanded. Luke steps off the boat. "Is the U.S.S Delila holding up alright? I'll have Jakki take a look at it."
"It's fine," he mutters without looking at me. "Nothing's wrong." The bridge opens up, and he steps onto the dock, his boots shiny as his badges.
"I see, you're very... decorated," I murmured to myself. Could he have surpassed me? Luke nodded, smiling a true smile. His scar on his eye gleamed.
"Yeah. The defeat of the Gorgon king was a biggie," He fidgeted with his gold badge. I eyed it, it was similar to the one I had, except mine was silver. Had he beaten me?
"No comment," I mutter. "Come on, I'll show you around."
"Where?" He said blindly. "All I see is a bunch of trees."
"All those metals mean nothing if you can't see through the trees," I spat. "The camp is this way. It's not much of a looker, and the captain is a lunatic, but-"
"Isn't everyone except you a lunatic?" Luke's voice is coating a laugh, I can tell. I shake my head vigorously.
"No, this one is actually crazy," I persisted. He's gotta understand. "Like... the old ID guy."
"And he's the one who sent us here," Luke scoffs. "I wonder where he got his license?" I can't help wondering what had happened to Luke.
A simple adventure had changed him this much? It didn't make any sense. But I'm not one to read feelings, and I never will be. I'm not a therapist. I'm just someone who makes money to live.
And slaves away at a camp far away from all demons.
"Hey, you guys!" Anaya shouts. She was a petite figure in a flannel vest over her uniform, her hair in a messy bun.
Her outside blonde hair lined her face, making her look youthful and always happy. "Oh, Jay- Oh hey, it's another recruit! Who's this, Lieutenant?"
"In all names of professionalism, this is... what's your rank? It must have changed since you were last in these corps." Luke nods.
"Lieutenant Commander," He replies. Luke winks at me. I didn't return the pleasure.
So he was only one rank above me, I could catch up in no time, I refused to lose to him! I was ahead until I was sent to this petrified forest.
"Oh... well good to know!" Anaya was always so happy... I never understood her. "Lieutenant Jaya... You might want to report to Captain's quarters. He's looking for you." I cross my arms.
"Anaya, you can tell him to come to look for me in the morning. I'm turning in." I yawned.
"No, you better come now," Anaya's face came as close to a frown as possible, and I lowered my eyes. Anything that could make Anaya worried, I should definitely be worried.
Nah, he's just Lyon, the overreacting captain.
"Alright, let's see what the old man wants," I tighten my belt. "Luke, you better come with me. I need a reason to get away from camp, and you're it."
"I'm more than just a reason! I'm a comrade! I got send to this stupid place just to get bossed around by you?! I can do that any time of day!" Luke blew up.
"Oh calm down. This is so you can meet the Captain, I'm helping you," My voice was heavy with sarcasm, and Luke could tell. "Just come and no one will get hurt." Luke snorts.
"Why should I trust you?" These words shock me. Didn't he trust me? He had to! If he wanted a war, fine!
"Anaya, tell this man he can trust me," I gritted my teeth. Anaya's face fell, but she spoke anyway.
"Jaya is-" Her voice shakes. She rushes over to me, a panicked look on her face. She grasps my arm. "I can't tell a lie!" I shake her off, not looking her in the eye.
"You can exaggerate! Just do it, I need him so I don't get demoted. Repeat after me: Lieutenant Jaya is to be trusted." I gestured for her to repeat. She says it like a robot. I sigh.
He wasn't going to go, and I was going to never surpass him! "You, come here." Luke's voice is cold.
"Me?" I ask. "What do you want?"
"I'm going to take you to the Captain's quarters." He starts off into the forest toward the camp.