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ShadowTemplar
02-04-2003, 09:47 AM
Okay, here’s that follow-up I talked about (the start of it, that is. Suggestions on how to continue are most welcome (though I do have a few plans for the plot)). I’ve included a summary of the original story, for those of you who haven’t read it.

Fallen from Grace

A sequel to The Templar’s Tale (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=88330)

“He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

- Voltaire*

The story so far:

The Templar’s Tale sees a main character called Attica Calina, soldier in the secret and highly elite commando unit known (or rather unknown) as the Templar. Trained to the highest standards and augmented with potent mind-over-matter abilities, the Templar are a lethal unit, to say the least.
At the start of the story her unit of Templar is involved in the effort to capture the planets around the star Ranost, and convert them to the so-called Legion of the True Faith, a militant cult that has rebelled from the Republic of Valdra, which is nominally a republic, but in reality sliding towards aristocracy or dictatorship at an alarming rate.
Being part of a brutal boarding action, during which she is ordered to participate in the murder of civilian refugees makes Calina start thinking about the fairness of her cause, and during the assault on the strategically important planet Ranost Prime, where her mission is to blow up a power plant, thus eliminating an entire city, she decides to rebel. This choice forces her to kill her last remaining friend in the Legion ranks, since she tries to stop her.
After this she teams up with a PDF private called Martin Jhonsson and fifty civilians, steals a spacecraft and heads for safety. They arrive at a research facility controlled by the Central Governmental Control, or CGC, the institution that takes care of military and law-enforcement issues in the Republic and plays a large (too large, according to some, including Jhonsson) part in the governing of the Republic.
But the Legion does not take kindly to renegades, especially not renegade Templar, and so send three capital ships in pursuit. The end of The Templar’s Tale sees Calina, Jhonsson, and the rest of the base awaiting the onslaught of a numerically vastly superior force supported by the deadly Templar, and all the while Calina is struggling to cope with the enormity of the choices she has had to make.

*Unlike most of the people I quote in the headers of this story, Voltaire is not of my invention. He is one of the people that we can thank for democracy (though main credit for that goes to a French guy called Montesque (did I spell that right?)).
As you can probably guess Voltaire had some pretty harsh opinions on religion (that I find entirely justified, but that is a debate that I will not take up here, though I’d be more than happy to debate it in the Senate Chambers).

ShadowTemplar
02-04-2003, 09:49 AM
”You don’t know that the cat’s dead ‘til the cat’s skinned.”

- Proverb

The double doors slid open with the telltale hiss of hydraulics, and the tall, lean figure of a woman walked into the hospital wing. Several orderlies were about to stop her, but one withering glance at the first made them reconsider. She walked along the rows of beds, until her grey eyes fell on the name she was looking for. She stepped in beside the bed, and knelt in silent prayer.
“Calina? Is that you?” The woman looked up, into a pair of emerald eyes, nestled in a round, friendly, tan face. “You survived?” he asked rhetorically.
“Yes, Jhonsson. I survived,” she replied in the same flat voice that she nearly always used. “And I see that you did too.”
“By the Republic! What did you do to your hair?” Jhonsson asked, noticing only now that the short, black hair that usually posed a sharp contrast to Calina’s pale face was gone.
“Be glad that I ducked, or it would have been more than my hair that had gone missing. I kissed a flamer... For the second time in less than two months,” she added, mostly to herself. “Anyway, burnt hair smells rather bad, so I decided to get rid of it. I consider myself very blessed to walk away from an engagement involving Templar with nothing more than burnt hair and a few scratches and bruises.”
“Fill me in on what happened, will you? I thought that we were all so dead when the wall came crashing down.”
“Well, I thought that you were. Hanging around on a wall that is hit by an automated missile system isn’t the wisest thing to do. Well, back to the story: The Templar, I’d say a hundred or so, Jumped into the complex as soon as we started up the generators. The Legion must be really PO; I’ve never seen such a large deployment of Templar before. Then those APCs* started tearing down the wall with their automissiles...”
“APCs?” interrupted Jhonsson. “I thought that they were MBTs**.
“They could pass for it, yes, but I the Templar were riding them before they Jumped. Then the lighting failed, but since we are on the bright side of the moon, that didn’t matter much.”
“Then they got two generators, before the sentry guns caught up with them?”
“No. They got one. The other just found itself between a Templar and a drone gun. It made quite a mess; we’ve spent the better part of the day cleaning it up. Truth be told, I don’t think that they had expected us to sentrygun the generators and main computer outlets.”
With most of the walls gone there were little in the way of drone guns left to aid us in killing the Regulars when they started coming in. But then again, they expected there to be no drone guns at all, so I guess that they were pretty scared after all. Still, they did a remarkable job of killing us, and if the STS emplacements hadn’t taken out their vehicles, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you.”
Even without their vehicles, though, they were pretty close to finishing us off a couple of times. At one point I thought that we had lost the day, when they were actually inside the wall, or what’s left of it, but by then they were burned out. I shot the last one in the back as he turned to flee... Believe me,” she said, as she saw Jhonsson’s expression, “it was a merciful thing to do. You don’t want to know what the Legion does to deserters.” She showed no fear at the thought.
“So, when are the docs gonna let me go?”
“I can’t rightly say,” Calina replied. “They aren’t too keen about me looking them over the shoulder... but your file is right here, pinned to the end of your bed.” Again an orderly went to stop her, but apparently he suddenly remembered an urgent appointment, and turned away.
“Let’s see,” Calina mused, browsing Jhonsson’s file, “all of the bones in your right leg are broken in so spectacular a fashion that they have to replace them with artificial ones... and it looks like that left arm of your’s will get the replacement its due for free of charge... a few bruises... some broken ribs... the rest are minor injuries. The leg may take some time, but in my opinion you got off lightly.”
“Doesn’t encourage me to repeat the experience, though.”
“I have some free time on my hands, now that the cleaning up is done. Is there anything I should try to ´organise´ for you?” she asked.
“Thanks, but no thanks,” he replied. “Oh, there is actually one thing that you can do for me,” he said as she turned away. “Pray. I would do so myself, if I thought that anything would listen.”
“I will,” she said as she began to walk out of the room. “I will.”

*APC = Armoured Personnel Carrier

**MBT = Main Battle Tank (or Mean Battle Tank if you are on the wrong side of the barrel).

__CKY__
02-05-2003, 01:19 AM
Lol ur title is the title to a Morbid Angel song :D well almost its called Fall from Grace well anyways good story :D

ShadowTemplar
02-11-2003, 05:10 AM
Thx. But Calina's trouble is not over yet... Not by a long shot (Btw: Did you take a look at The Templar's Tale (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=88330)?). Also I didn't know about that song... But I guess that I'm not the first to think of that title...

“I swear loyalty to the Templar, with all of my heart, now and forever. May the fire of the Creator burn brightly in my heart for as long as there are stars in the sky. Contemno Hereticus, Caedo Hereticus, Defaeco Hereticus [Hate the heretic, kill the heretic, purify the heretic].”*

- Attica Calina, fallen Templar, at her admission ceremony

Having heard the door open behind her, Calina already had her pistol pointed at the intruder, when she realised that it was Jhonsson who had burst into her room. “In most cultures it is considered polite to knock first,” she remarked, as she lowered her weapon. Especially if the door belongs to a jumpy person with a loaded gun. Glad to see that you are out of bed, I thought that you would be pinned there for a while longer.“
“As did I. But the docs say that I’m healing up nice and fine, and they have to use the beds for more needing patients.”
“You are limping,” Calina noticed.
“It takes some time to adjust to new bones,” he explained. “And I have to go through it all over again when we reach civilised space,” he added.
“Why? Did they do something wrong?” she asked, her voice betraying a little curiosity.
“Gee, I thought that you were smart, Calina. Y’see they fitted me with plastic bones. Good enough for temporary use, but at some point they will break. Now if you grow some real bones instead...”
“The body can repair them,” she finished.
“I figured you were smart,” Jhonsson said. “So the moment we set foot on city soil again I’m going to cash in a receipt for a set of cloned leg-bones. Which brings me to my real reason for coming here in the first place: We’ve just got a ticket out of here.”
Calina, who had sat down on her bed in the meantime, lifted an eyebrow in curiosity.
“Montz just told me,” Jhonsson continued, “that the Retributor is entering perimeter orbit on the other side of the moon. In less than twelve hours they’ll send down dropships to collect the data capsules from the base and we’ll hitch a ride.”
“Sounds like you have it all figured out.” Calina sounded genuinely delighted at the prospect of getting away from the base. “But were are my manners? I haven’t even asked you to sit down, have I? There’s got to be a chair somewhere,” she said, looking around the room. “Good Lord, Tomas would be spinning in his grave, if he’d had one,” she muttered to herself.
“Your brother?” Jhonsson asked, as he dragged the chair a little away from the wall.
Realising that she had been thinking aloud, Calina decided to explain: “My father.”
“So much death,” Jhonsson thought aloud. “Killed in the war, no?”
“Not killed, murdered,” Calina replied darkly.
“Murdered?” Jhonsson asked bewildered.
“Murdered,” Calina repeated. “When soldiers fighting a war slay a civilian in cold blood it’s black murder, not killing,” she explained. “Or genocide, depending on the scale,” she added, almost in an afterthought.
“How? When?” Jhonsson wanted to ask a lot more questions, but, seeing Calina’s expression, realised that she didn’t want to touch the subject more, and discontinued. “Come on down to the barracks proper; all the guys are down there, watching the inauguration of the new president on the comm-line,” he said instead.

*It is the oath that any candidate who survives his or her training must swear to join the Templar. “with all of my heart” is usually interpreted as renouncing one’s family, lover, and other loyalties. “Contemno Hereticus, Caedo Hereticus, Defaeco Hereticus” is something I nicked from a White Dwarf. Any actual meaning is purely coincidental.

ShadowTemplar
03-06-2003, 03:28 PM
”They say that we are obsolete. But we are humans, and I tell you that the day that human bodies become obsolete, the Creator will blacken the sky, the stars will dim in lament, and the galaxy will freeze to death.”

- Tomas Calina, when asked about the CGC

“...must be defeated. We have all seen the callousness with which the legion strikes. We have all seen the atrocities that they commit. We have all...” while the new President of the Republic of Valdra spoke, the lower half of the two meters long and 1 meter tall screen on the wall of the barracks common room was taken up by short snatches of film:
Legion soldiers shooting civilians. Legion soldiers smashing a storefront. Legion soldiers torturing a child in front of his mother. The lower half of the screen returned to showing just the chest of the large, almost intimidating figure of Arnuel Trask, President of the Republic. It looked almost impossibly full of medals.
“...And this is why we must fight this war. This is why we must win this war. No matter the cost!” The loud cheers from the crowd were drowned out by the crackle of static. “Crappy connection we have out here,” someone muttered.
“When someone says “no matter the cost”, I always get such an urge to give him a hard slap,” Jhonsson said, to no-one in particular. “What is the good of winning the battle, if by doing so you lose the war?”
“What did you say?” one of the soldiers asked threateningly. “Don’t you like a president who has the guts to act? Would you prefer to sit on your flat butt, while the Legion burns down your world?”
“What I would prefer,” Jhonsson snapped back acidly, “is a president who won’t make this war an excuse for removing what little semblance of democracy is left in our so-called republic. And one who wasn’t the CGC’s puppet too, if that’s possible anymore. But I guess that the Legion makes too handy a bogeyman.” He left the last words hanging in the air like a bird of prey ready to strike, as he turned away to leave.
The punch never even fell. It was stopped in mid-air by an agile, yet overpoweringly strong hand. “This ends here and now,” Calina said, in a voice utterly devoid of emotion, but yet with a sharp edge that left no doubt about the finality of the statement. There was no anger in her bearings, not even resentment, which was possibly even more frightening than if she had looked furious.
The soldier tried his best to look threatening. His face was marred by a scar running from his forehead and down over his right chin. He had a bandage on his left arm, but whether it was from the defence of the station or a bunk-house fight was hard to tell. On face value it looked like an uneven match: The brute was no doubt far heavier and stronger than Calina.
But the Templar had had years of rigorous close-combat training, combined with her unique skills. A quick twist of the brute’s arm sent him staggering back into the closed ranks of his comrades.
“I don’t believe that we’ve been properly introduced yet,” Calina said. “I am Attica Calina, formerly Templar of the Legion. I request to know your name.” Waiting for her message to sink in, she added: “Just in case you try to backstab me now. I like to know who I’m killing. Jhonsson, when did you say we could get out of here?”