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KINGSGUARD Chapter 54: Soldier's Choice

Discussion in 'Writer's Corner' started by Marco Polo, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. Marco Polo

    hot for goth doctor
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    It's time for the Kingsguard to make a choice...

    Does that link not make sense? Oh, well. I guess you'll have to wait for 55 to get it.

    KINGSGUARD

    Chapter 54: Soldier’s Choice

    March 15th, 2256. 11:08am. Hiraeth News Network.

    “Good day, and welcome to the Hiraeth News Network. I am Frank Gallon. At 9 o’clock this morning, state funerals were held for Kingsguard Elite members Kyros Fidelis and Edwin Bauer, as well as the other soldiers who were killed in the first Dreamcorp attack in three years. Along with the well-wishers, there were several protesters present, many of whom called for an end to the war. An official statement from the Owl King’s office, read out by one of the Owl King’s representatives, attempted to calm the protests by re-iterating that neither Palace nor Kingsguard had control over the war or the schedule of the attacks. Currently, no official statement has come from the Kingsguard, however a statement is expected later this afternoon. More as it comes.”

    *​

    11:30am. Rose’s Office. A disciplinary meeting is being held.

    “… I think we both know why you’re here today, Chirch.”

    “… Yeah.”

    “You may have had good intentions, but abandoning your post in battle and directly defying your Division Commander is a serious offence.”

    “I understand. Do what you must.”

    Rose began to fill in the form on her desk. “Since you’re co-operating, this is much easier. Your punishment will be a fine of two weeks’ wages, as well as six hours of community service.”

    Chirch shrugged. “Sure.”

    Rose signed the form, and handed it to Chirch, who also signed it. Satisfied that the proper protocol had been met, Rose filed the form away.

    “Chirch. I hope I don’t have to do this every time a member of the Twelve shows up in battle.”

    “Hopefully next time, they’ll show up right in front of me.” Chirch replied.

    “I don’t understand. You’re usually much more level-headed than this. What’s wrong with you?” Rose asked. Chirch remained silent.

    “Listen, Chirch.” Rose continued, “I understand how you feel. I want to beat them just as much as you do. But rushing in-”

    “Do you really?” Chirch replied, raising her voice. “You weren’t there when-”

    “We all saw him die, Chirch.” Rose shouted, shooting up from her chair for a moment, before quickly sitting herself back down. “Every single one of us did. And he was my teacher too. He was just as important to me as he was to you. But the last thing he would have wanted is you rushing in and getting yourself killed.”

    “I know…” Chirch answered, her voice suddenly filled with an unfamiliar vulnerability, “But I don’t know what else I can do. It’s my fault… It’s my fault that he’s dead. I… should have helped him. That day… I should have fought.”

    “If you’d fought, both of you would have wound up dead.” Rose replied.

    “You don’t know that!” Chirch protested.

    Rose shook her head. “Yesterday’s battle proves it. Kyros and Bauer were completely defenceless against just one of them. Add five more into that mix… There’d be no Kingsguard left. It goes to show just how big the gap between Captain Marko and the rest of us is, even now.”

    “Rose…”

    “Listen, Chirch. Marko went into that battle knowing he wouldn’t come out alive. Deep down, we both know that. For him of all people to do something that reckless, he must have had faith that the people he left behind would make his sacrifice worthwhile.”

    “… Will I ever be able to repay that faith? Right now, I… I feel so powerless.” Chirch lamented.

    Rose sighed. “It’s not like you to be so down on yourself, Chirch. Look… All we can do is take each day as an opportunity to grow stronger. There’s no point in questioning if we’re stronger than the Twelve or not. The only focus for us is becoming as strong as we can. If we do that, then they’ll stand no chance against us. Right?”

    Feeling a little better, Chirch nodded.

    “… Right.”

    Rose smiled. “Good. Now… Let’s go train, shall we?”

    *​

    11:45am. Kingsguard Facility – Elite’s Boardroom. The surviving Elite members are sitting around a table, discussing the next best move for the Kingsguard.

    “So… Who’s making the media statement?” asked Dr. Seiko.

    “I’ll do it.” Cosmos answered. “There’s not much to say that hasn’t been said already, anyway.”

    “What are you going to do, Moss?” Amanda asked. “Are you going to promote people to replace Kyros and Bauer?”

    “… It’s weird talking about their replacements so soon after their death, but… I guess I don’t have any choice. I can’t lead the Soldier Division by myself.” Moss replied. “But… I’m not sure who to promote.”

    “Hmm, you’re right… There’s not any standout choices just yet.” Amanda added. “But that doesn’t mean there’s people that aren’t doing good work.”

    “Well, if I look at the top two divisions, there’s Zak Niklaus and Ragnar Ragley… They’re both dependable, but Niklaus is still young and Ragley would have to stay with his snipers so we wouldn’t be able to collaborate that closely.” Moss continued, sharing his thought processes with his peers.

    “What about the Division 3 Commander, Ren?” Seiko asked. “He’s relatively experienced, and he’s a dependable figure.”

    “He’s in contention too.” Moss replied. “We’ve worked together a lot, and he’s dependable. He’s never been that bothered about status, though.”

    “He’s worth reaching out to, though.” Cosmos added. “You want to keep your options as open as possible.”

    “You know… I get that they’re still young and all, but how about Rose and Pragma Corrinspike?” Amanda suggested. “Along with Zak, they’ll probably be leading the Kingsguard’s next generation, right?”

    Moss nodded. “Yes. I’m just worried about lumping all that responsibility on youth.”

    “They might be young, but previous Elites have had a lot of faith in them. Eddie always said he wanted Pragma to be his successor, and both Captain Marko and Commander Rio think Rose is going to surpass them one day. Rose also has a lot of experience fighting the Twelve, which is a huge plus for her.” Cosmos continued. “I think both are capable of living up to the responsibility.”

    “Hmm… I don’t know. What do you guys think I should do?”

    Seiko shook his head. “It’s not about what we think you should do, Moss. You’re in charge of them all now. It’s your choice.”

    “You’re right, but… The thought of making a choice that would be unpopular with my fellow soldiers makes my stomach turn.” Moss replied, his timid nature coming to the fore once again. “If only there was a way that I could let them…”

    Moss suddenly jumped out of his chair.

    “That’s it!”

    *​

    12:00pm. Hiraeth News Network.

    “Good day, and welcome to the Hiraeth News Network. I am Frank Gallon. This is the news at 12 o’clock. Kingsguard Commander Maria Cosmos has issued a formal statement on behalf of the Kingsguard, stating their commitment to protecting the citizens from any harm that may come their way. Cosmos also informed us that swift action was being taken internally to address the losses suffered by the Kingsguard during the Ares battle. Now, on to weather with Mia Pachi.”

    *​

    12:04pm. Judge and Jackson’s Lab. The young engineers are working feverishly. Hiraeth News Network is on in the background.

    “Oh man. I can hear the protests starting already.” Judge moaned as he fiddled around with a circuit board. “All those conspiracy wackjobs will be putting out their reaction videos to Maria’s speech, saying the war’s staged and all that shit.”

    “Well, at least it’s going to be sunny tomorrow.” Eve joked.

    “What, are you planning on leaving the lab?” Judge replied, feigning shock that his colleague had a life outside of work.

    “Well, if it’s sunny out we should go for a beer with XO and Tsubaki.” Eve suggested.

    “Is that your way of asking me out, Jackson?” Judge teased.

    Eve scoffed. “Keep dreaming.”

    The pair then returned their focus to their projects without saying a word to each other. A few minutes later, Eve broke the silence.

    “The heatproof gears you got for me are really something, Judge. I tested them this morning. They can comfortably function in 1,000 degree heat.”

    “What did I tell you, Jackson.” Judge snickered, “I know all the right people.”

    “I guess you do.” Eve replied. After a few seconds of contemplative thought, she spoke again. “I’ve been wondering something about you, Judge.”

    “I can share my skincare routine with you, but you have to be prepared to wake up an hour earlier every morning. Beauty comes at a cost, you know.” Judge joked.

    “Not that. I just wonder what you’re doing here sometimes, that’s all.”

    “The same thing as you, I guess?” Judge replied, confused at Eve’s questioning.

    “I don’t mean that.” Eve continued, “I mean, why are you working for the Kingsguard when you could be working in the underground? You have better resources there, and you don’t have the pressure that comes with our job.”

    Judge thought for a while. “Sure. When you look at it like that, working in the underground sounds great. But if you went down there, you wouldn’t feel that way.”

    “What’s it like down there?” Eve asked.

    “It’s like a jungle.” Judge answered. “The strong flourish and the weak perish. It’s every man for themselves in a fight to reach the top of the food chain. I can count the number of good people down there on my fingers.”

    “You seem like the kind of person who’d enjoy that chaos, though.” Eve replied.

    “I grew up there, so I’ve experienced it before.” Judge answered, more thoughtfully than usual. “And I’m sure if I decided to go there, I’d survive. I know the right people, as well, so I’d be able to call protection when I need it. But would I go there by choice when there’s a chance to use my skills to help people? Absolutely not.”

    “Huh… You’re more righteous than I thought.” Eve answered. “The total opposite of that one engineer who used to work here.”

    “Mr. Pink may have been a self-serving egomaniac, but he still managed to progress the Kingsguard’s engineering standards further than anyone that’s come before him.” Judge replied. “There’s no bigger motivator than wanting to bring a smug guy down a few pegs.”

    “Haha. I guess you’re right about that.” Eve replied. “I’m sure when he comes back, he’ll make some kind of grand entrance that pisses everyone off.”

    Judge laughed. “I’d put money on that, too.”

    *​

    2:35pm. Moss’ Office. Four Kingsguard soldiers are gathered outside of the door.

    “So he called you as well, huh Rose?” Pragma asked.

    “Yeah. It’s a good thing he called during my lunch break, or I would have missed his call.” Rose answered.

    “Training the day after a big battle. You have one hell of a work ethic.” Pragma joked.

    “I figured it was the best way to help Chirch get her focus back.”

    “Hmm… That’s a good call. She seemed a little all over the place during the battle yesterday. Speaking of Chirch, I’m surprised she didn’t get a call. She’s at least as strong as those of us gathered here. Ain’t that right, Niklaus?”

    Zak Niklaus, who was leaning coolly against the wall, looked over to Pragma and Rose. “Agreed. But I guess whatever we’re needed for isn’t something that can be solved with strength alone.”

    “Hmm… I guess you’re right. I wonder what we’re here for, actually?” Pragma mused.

    “I think I know…”

    “I don’t know. Commander Moss didn’t say anything other than to report to his office for 2:30. He’s a little late, though.” Rose answered.

    “He’s probably in there, too nervous to come talk to us.” Pragma joked.

    “Guys, I think Moss wants to…”

    “I’ve noticed. The four of us here are commanders of the top 5 soldier divisions. Maybe there’s going to be a re-shuffle?” Niklaus added.

    “Guys…”

    “But Ren’s not here.” Rose answered.

    “Hmm. Maybe his position is safe.” Pragma concluded.

    “Then I wonder who’s moving up and who’s moving down?” Niklaus continued, adding fuel to the fire of speculation. “We’ve all been doing well in our respective posts so far.”

    “Excuse me…”

    “Yeah, it seems weird that they’d re-shuffle now.”

    “EXCUSE ME!” came a loud shout from the fourth person waiting outside the office.

    “What is it, Mr. Ragley?” Rose asked.

    “No need to shout, jeez…” Pragma mumbled.

    “I don’t think there’s a re-shuffle going on. At least, not the one that we’re thinking of.” Rayleigh answered.

    “So, what’s happening then?” Niklaus asked.

    “I think that one of us is going to be promoted.” Rayleigh answered.

    “P-p-promoted?!” Pragma and Rose shouted, surprised.

    “It’d be the only thing that makes sense.” Rayleigh continued. “It’s the Top 5 commanders out here, and we’ve just lost two Elites. I’m guessing Ren declined the offer, which is why he isn’t here.”

    “… Makes sense, I guess.” Pragma answered. “But why call all four of us for a single post?”

    “It’s unusual, sure… But it’s Moss we’re talking about here.” Rayleigh answered.

    The door to Moss’ office then suddenly opened as the Commander invited his candidates in. As the four potential Elites sat opposite Moss’ desk, Moss sat in his chair.

    “Thank you for coming up at such short notice. I hope I haven’t caused you any problems…” As Moss felt himself begin to ramble, he quickly cut himself off. “Anyway. As I’m sure you know, there’s now some vacancies in the Elite Division, and I’m looking at you four as potential replacements. I don’t know if you know how Elite promotion works, but… It’s going to be a little different this time. I won’t be the one choosing who gets promoted. Your peers in the Kingsguard will. You’ll all be on trial as Elites during the next bot attack. After the attack, I’ll open the question to the other Kingsguard members to who they think should be promoted to Elite. They’ll all vote, and the person with the highest number of votes will be promoted. Of course, I won’t be voting. If I could make my mind up, there’d only be one of you here, after all.”

    Pragma, Rose, Niklaus and Rayleigh all nodded.

    “That seems like a fair way to do it.” Niklaus answered.

    “Yeah, I think this is a lot better than just picking someone and announcing their promotion. Especially when there’s not much between the four of us.” Rayleigh added. “Nice idea, Moss!”

    Moss blushed. “R-really? You think so? Thank you…”

    “Stop trying to win brownie points, Ragley.” Pragma interjected.

    Ragley chuckled awkwardly. “Heh heh. I can’t help it. I’m a charmer, you know.”

    As the group began to talk excitedly over the upcoming promotion battle, a knock was heard at Moss’ door. The room suddenly went silent.

    “Come in!” Moss said.

    “I guess Ren had a change of heart, then?” Pragma whispered.

    As the door opened, the group were surprised at the person who came through the door. Considerably older than the other Elite candidates, he sported a buzzcut and a scratch over his left eye. Walking in to the room, he announced his intentions.

    “Yo, Moss. I heard there was Elite promotions going on.”

    Moss remained silent.

    “I see you’ve got some interesting candidates here,” the soldier continued, “Mind if I throw my name in to the hat?”

    Moss thought for a moment. “Hmm… You’re a Division Commander, and you’re experienced. But are you sure you’re ready? You only came back to the Kingsguard six months ago, Captain Swann.”

    Captain Eustace Swann sighed. “Listen. I may have been away from the front lines for a while, but I had my reasons. What’s important is that I’m back and ready to fight now. Besides… A youngster like you could do with someone with a little more maturity alongside you. A more experienced, cooler head. So, whaddaya say, Moss? Want to make this a five horse race again?”

    Moss, clearly conflicted, thought for a while longer. “… I guess there’s no harm in doing that. You’re in.”

    Swann grinned. “That’s what I like to hear. You’ve made a good decision, kid. So… When are you making the decision?”

    “I’ve just explained it to these guys. You’ll go on trial during the next battle, just like usual. But instead of the Elite deciding who enters, your fellow soldiers will be casting their vote after the battle.” Moss answered.

    “Hmm. How very democratic of you.” Swann answered. “I guess we just have to sit and wait for the next-”

    As Swann spoke, the attack siren began to ring.

    “Warning. A rogue bot attack has broken out in Adamine. Threat Level: 2 stars. All Kingsguard personnel to deploy immediately.”

    Swann smirked. “Guess we don’t have to wait after all.”

    END

    Character(s) Debuted:

    Eustace Swann, @Deathbloke 's chance of having a character that doesn't die in Chapter 99 #spoilers
     
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  2. Deathbloke

    weeb trash
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    HYPE
    WILL READ THIS ASAP
     
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  3. miss_SMP

    Symmetry is Beauty
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    The chapters keeps on coming huh? I love it. Hahaha

    Super pumped about the flow of the story. I especially like that it didn't go super dark, characters are more mature but light heartedness is still there (well time has passed).

    And like like the beginning of the 1st act, new characters are coming in and its very exciting. (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧
     
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  4. Marco Polo

    hot for goth doctor
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    Hurry, before time runs out!

    I can get away with bluffing through these ones since they’re a bridge into the “real” first arc of Act Two. I still don’t have a solid plan for that arc yet, I just know how it starts so far.


    I’m glad you are! ^_^
    Hopefully you’ll continue to enjoy it until the end, whenever that might be.


    There’s still a few new characters to come. I wonder when?
     
  5. Deathbloke

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    #5 Deathbloke, Mar 2, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
    Alright, finally read it!

    Guys, stop ignoring the KG's No. 1!!

    That was a great chapter, considering it was the aftermath of a disastrous battle. I don't see the characters very sad though lol. I cannot wait to see the next battle to get some odds on who will be the next Elite.

    As for my character, that was a great debut! I loved how you handled him! So you made him KG's 6th Division Commander, huh. I had him as a freelancer in my mind, but that's fine, I suppose. Can't wait to see how you've planned Swann out ;)

    Also, Ragley was too much wrongly mentioned in this chapter, just change the name permanently lol

    Also also, dad's title was pretty good
     
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  6. 4thBlade

    Inner weeb > Responsibilities
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    Great chapter! Rose has become a fine division commander. And chirch, hmm i miss her bubbly side.
     
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  7. Marco Polo

    hot for goth doctor
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    Answering KG comments while drinking, I hope I don’t let any secrets out...

    Unfortunately, our heroes don’t have time to be sad... There’s a war going on, after all.

    As for who becomes the next Elite, it’s a tough contest... Or is it?


    Swann isn’t just some guy brought in for drama, he’s got a big part to play...


    It’ll make more sense in a few chapters’ time

    I wonder what happened while Chirch was at Dreamcorp, actually. She’s obviously picked up a few mental scars from the incident...
     
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  8. Pacquiao8

    8th Commander of the Straw Hat Grand Fleet
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    #8 Pacquiao8, Mar 3, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2019
    #KG55RIPSwann

    Doesn't die at 99 but 55.

    I think it's because we're still in the transition chapters.

    Swann will die in the next chapter. :nerdtroll:

    His death would be the blueprint on how Rayleigh will die?

    Don't tell me Anthropos did the infamous thread of @Red to Chirch? :cereal:
     
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  9. Deathbloke

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    I actually put zero thought on this matter, I thought Chirch was just the bait for Marko.

    Keep DREAMing lol
     
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  10. Chaudfontaine

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    2 BLOKEY CHARACHTERS IN 1 CHAPTER? what is this?

    R I G G E D
     
  11. Deathbloke

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    And in the same room too, BEST CHAP EVER

    You can sleep with Marko too for the sake of KG

    @miss_SMP I saw that like
     
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  12. Pacquiao8

    8th Commander of the Straw Hat Grand Fleet
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    What if they both die at the same time at KG99?
     
  13. Deathbloke

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    I have come to terms with that, no more mocking :P
     
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  14. Marco Polo

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    No, this isn’t that kind of story

    To quote Mr. Bloke:

     
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  15. Chaudfontaine

    Chaudius Caesar
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    Does maruko snore? I'm a light sleeper
     
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  16. Marco Polo

    hot for goth doctor
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    heavily, but if you want that screen time then that's a sacrifice you'll have to make
     
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  17. Kia

    Kia
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    Wait, he’s dead. That’s necrophilia. Not to judge anyone’s kinks...

    Well @Chaudfontaine, since it turns out it’s the author/inspiration for the character and he’s a snorer, I can give you some earplugs. We’ve got a whole box of them. Or maybe you can help him with that if you’ve got any of XO’s medical knowledge. ^_^

    Good luck!
     
  18. Deathbloke

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    I meant MarCo, just to clarify
     
  19. Marco Polo

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    my outside is very much alive. however, i cannot guarantee the same for my inside.

    it doesn’t count if you wear earplugs
     
  20. Chaudfontaine

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    I don't know if the screentime is worth my sleep. Gotta be healty you know.
     

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