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Let it Burn

12 years before the war

"I sense you are troubled. Do you want to share something?"

"No, Mr. Flagg... It's just, I want to know that what we are doing here, all of this, will be worth it in the end."

"In the end? Nothing ever ends, Thomas. There are new beginnings. Only finite beings, aware of their own mortal existence, think in such deterministic ways trying. Do you not realize? What you are doing here is harboring a new era. What you see in front of is our creation. That power that which up to this point only the selfish gods held. It is through this avatar that we will exert our will upon reality. That will be your legacy. Is that not what you seek?"

Across the one way mirror stands tall a sealed liquid tank in which a white haired human lays motionless, bound by metal cables connected directly into his back and arms, restraining its movement until only the eyes can move, following the two men as they continue to walk down the hall, ignoring the scientists observing his development. The blue hue of the monitors in the back blurring the luminescence of its clear eyes as they come into contact with Walker's and seer through his iris profusely. Scurrying, he shifts his view to the distant planet seen through the window as multiple shuttles arrive from the surface to the station.

"Is the subject safe inside there, doctor?", asks Walker the lead scientist continues the tour of the project the English government funds.

"Yes, the new restraints have proven effective at quailing its tendencies."

"Excuse me?"

"Since the last incident they now come reinforced with laminated cytofibers capable of sustaining atmospheric pressures as well doubling in purpose as intramuscular type-7 sedatives. We had to cut short the supply of Red Sand however. It seemed to have unprecedented effects on its abilities."

"Increase them immediately, Dr. We need to incentivize his development at the best rate possible."

"Huh? Sir... I am not sure if you are aware but the only way we were able to quell its rampage was through direct intervention of Mr. Benedict and his fireteam. Otherwise the whole station would have ceased to function. We were lucky to have it contained at the now closed Delta level of facilities, and they are still remodeling."

"Thank you for your consideration, Dr. Jaeger., but we have presided that it is imperative its fighting capabilities are exalted if it is going to serve us of any capability. Please follow Mr. Flagg's direct orders from now on."

"Of course. I will take my leave then if you excuse me."

"Have faith. This will be our legacy, Thomas. Never doubt that."


Sitting in solitude, Walker harkens to the silence of the room as his eyes stroll along the border of the one sided mirror, reflecting not his own image but that of a grotesque man covered in grey ashes. His face and body burnt by fire and his torso scarred by a plethora of lashes leaving muscle exposed vividly, still beating as blood pours down the open putrid flesh flaking off endlessly.

Abruptly, his view shifts as the door screeches open while Javier enters, the ghastly man leaving the reflection back unto himself once again.

"You seem like you looked at a ghost." Javier expresses as he looks to the mirror Walker was just observing penitently.

"Hello Javier. I see you are still in the warmongering business. I want to get this out of my chest and offer my condolences for Ms. Rodriguez. You two were always inseparable, even when she tried to deny the fact."

"Save your bullshit and stop acting like you cared, Walker. After all, it was Jaeger who killed her."

"We had not communed ever since his conception back in the Elysium system if you are insinuating. How long was that ago?"

"4 years, when you hired me to kill him and his father to save your sorry ass from being acquainted with the accusations of bioethical crimes."

"Which you failed to."

"Still, stop acting as if were a secret and denying the fact it is common knowledge that Jaeger's activities were funded by MI6 under your administration."

"An necessity for the purpose of our collective benefit."

"Our? And whom exactly are you referring about?"

"This country, of course. Are you inferring something based upon personal bias as usual?"

"Always condescending, to the end. As if you cared about Britain, leading it to this ruin..."

"The suffering brought by this conflict rests upon the shoulders of the instigators for whom you work for."

"You always have a contriving response. You never cared for anyone other than yourself. All you think about is attaining more power and how to exert it unto others. Is that not why you and your spouse had a cesura?"

"... At least my child was not born out of wedlock."

"You cannot even be considered a father! You haven't even asked about your own daughter since the exchange, then you have the nerve to insult my own family?! You are a the worse kind of man to walk this earth.

Speaking of your daughter, I bet you weren't even aware she's dead. We gave her corpse to the military along with the other prisoners so that her family can mourn for them."

And with those words, the air became cold and hard to breathe as he felt pain in his chest, unable to move except for his hallowed stare which shifted to meet the fiery eyes of Javier.

"After we captured her, she made a great effort maintaining the morale along the rest of the prisoners. She was like a shining beacon of hope amongst the sorrowing men: bringing them food, making jokes, playing with the children, tending even to our own wounded, and every night she would sing psalms to those bring back a bit of faith. She had a lovely, lovely voice. Many considered her their only ray of hope, and frankly, she played the part well. You could see how people congregated around her as she spoke wisdom beyond her age. I don't know why it was, but she certainly was of those when in times of crisis show themselves to be reliable. Some said she was a angel sent by god to help in their suffering, she denied it of course, but everytime she held tight the cross in her collar.

But after we killed her mother she stopped eating, stopped sleeping. All she would do is sit in a corner and wither. Eventually it came the time when she became a remnant of who she was. You could see her veins through her face and skin, laying in a pool of feces and blood.

When her skin turned cold we decided to end her suffering. Even though I am against mercy killing and was against it, I was the one who pulled the trigger, and you know, as I stood there about to put a round in her head, she turned her eyes to me without moving and gave the same exact stare as you. The same hollow eyed expression. I asked, Do you believe in god? After she said yes, I pulled the trigger, and even after death, she still gave me that look just as she did in life. There was no difference."

"..."

"Nothing to say, huh?..."

"I will always know those eyes... Remember when the riots began? Those of Irythll?"

"Of course I do."

"I once had a vision, back when I was but a cadet, of a man who would usher in a era of unity for humanity. Time when there would be no necessity for conflict and all honored the same flag. No disputing countries or religions, where everyone is but a member of the human race. He was but a unsung hero borne from death's remnant who through suffering would create the circumstances that would lead us into a single future. It was my destiny to guide that man. I searched ever since that night.

In that day, you knew what was about to happen. Up there in that rooftop. I could see it in your eyes. You recognized death, awaiting, ready to take claim on those dissidents that stood there, and when our views crossed they flashed. It was at that moment I knew I found my paladin. All that was left was to write the screenplay."

"You killed all those people, restarted the war economy, and took on colonial expansionism, all because of faith?!"

"You know better than anyone else that faith is a weapon! Used to turn the hearts of men in a direction! When you accuse me of such, it is no different than all other great leaders written about in the books. The difference consists of what I've accomplished. Do you not see? It is through this that we will become stronger as a race.

He always thought Jaeger would fit that role, but Jaeger was only a beast of destruction, incapable of creation. But when this is all over and the rubble is settled, the UHA will stand strong as a banner of humanity across the stars."

"... Answer me. In your 'screenplay'... did she... have to die?"

"It was lamentable, but it had to be done in order to entice the masses into the cause. Without her death nothing would have started. She was the set-piece that ended the game in our favor and even then you still prove... difficult. I am assure my soul will be dragged down to the bowels of the abyss, but I believe my actions are for the good of my people. I've fulfilled my destiny."

"You... You... You bitch!"

The serene silence breaks with the crushing sound of bone and a last broken breath, the door shutting down, leaving it all behind.

"Am I interrupting?"

"No, I was about finishing talking to the reader. What brings you here, Acosta?"

"Nothing, just wanted to talk."

"About...what?"

"I don't know. I just feel like speaking to someone for a change."

"Well..., I've got to say, this climate feels much more like home than London. I'm kind of liking it."

"I personally hate anywhere with snow."

"Ah, too much of a chicken skin?"

"Well, I'm from The Caribbean, so..."

"I swear, you latinos can't go below 20º."

"I guess so. Anyway, I didn't know you practiced Narecje, Sam."

"Yeah. I've been doing it a couple of months. It helps feeling listened to."

"I remember doing a couple of studies of its history back at college."

"Wait... You went to college?!"

"Yes, I actually have a degree in Religious Psychology."

"Religious Psychology? Didn't you think about actually having a degree where you could afford to eat?"

"I know, I know. I was being pressured by certain family members to pursue a degree in college despite my ties with Black Operations.

Regardless, I find it quite interesting how throughout the years it has been used as a form of grieving.

You know, I have this theory that humans use prayer as a form of self-medication, seeking counseling by attributing into a abstract force certain desired values which they consider can effect influence in a different capacity due to its outsider status.

Now, as a evolutionary standpoint, I think this stems from our nature as social, sapient beings which acknowledge the fact others have similar or equal information and can use said information to solve a problem in different ways with a wider view spectrum. We see this in other animals such as elephants and dolphins who also mourn their dead. Therefore it is simply a natural reaction to seek higher advice when someone feels helpless in the form of religion which offers said help."

"What do you mean exactly?"

"I mean we use prayer as a placebo, attributing the force we require to face everyday and extraordinary problems into the form of a external deity or entity for easier processing and harnessing willpower."

"That's a interesting view of things, but can we change subject?"

"Hmm, sure."

"I know Marco took some of the remaining guys with him into a freelance mission out in the Elysian Providences. Seraph was furious with them. You have no idea."

"Yes, I heard. His health is failing lately. He's been in the hospital constantly for the past two months, Vex told me. Doesn't look like he'll be lasting long."

"What exactly does he have?"

"I can write you the name because there's no way I can pronounce that thing but it's essentially a hereditary disease of the family with a 50/50 chance of being passed by the parents to their children. It is like having Alzheimer, Parkinson, and ALS at the same time as soon as you hit your 20's or 30's. Nasty stuff, which is why they adopted her so she could continue the business, or so she says. I don't go into details."

"...Damn. That's horrible, then again is not that things were less bleak down here anyway. Maybe I should have left with David and the others."

"I wouldn't have blame you. I certainly don't blame them. Although, for all the crap he did in his life, I respect Seraph for choosing not to burden any children with having such thing. Letting the disease die with him."

"Well, it's not like you hanged up with us anyways. Do you even know their names? I mean, of everyone who was there that day?"

"Of course I do."

"Ah well, I'm just glad you killed Jaeger, for all of us. Put a end this. Anyway, I'm going to grab a beer and pizza, want some?"

"I'll pass on the beer, thanks."

"Alright..."

Getting up from his chair, Samuel walks to the fridge down the hall as from the two shadows down the stairs open fire, killing him in a instant as Javier ducks and hides behind the wall, looking at them as they pass to observe his comrade's body as instructed by a male voice with a heavy Russian accent,

"Stay vigilant for the prime target. He is of high priority, avoid close-quarters confrontations if possible. Remember to eliminate all other subjects, armed or otherwise with extreme prejudice.

"No signs of Shinigami. We'll continue searching this floor."

Giving back to Javier's position, he proceeds to break one of the armor clad soldier's leg and slam his head into the corner of the desk, cracking his helmet as the female one notices. Kicking her of the stairs into the lower wall, he stabs her in the chest and grabs her handgun, shooting the crawling soldier in the head. After moving from his place and grabbing both swords with him, he sits down to clear his head.

Draco soldiers? UHA Siegfrieds, damn! Why'd they send spec ops, there is nothing in this tundra besides a few training camps unless..., shit! Must be... They couldn't have known I was here unless someone tipped them off, not that I was hiding or anything. That fucker, Marco! Someone must have put a bounty on my head and he took the prize, that explains how he got to start his own company. "God..."

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