A Story of <Redemption> By Ellynna
Author's Note: Although I drop names of <Redemption> members, there was no way I could get everyone. All of Redemption I wish could be included, but then the story would never end. I hope when you read this story you see the true value of the message behind what I wrote. See you guys around and enjoy. <3
Stangg awoke in a cold sweat. The bitter taste in his mouth reminded him of his thirst, the growling nausea in his stomach reminded him of a hunger he longed to sate, but wouldn't dare. He could not prepare himself enough for the following day. The day he'd be named an Official member of Redemption.
Redemption was an old guild in Nezebgrad. They were the underdogs, the expendables, the hired guns of the Empire when the higher ranking guilds didn't want to get their hands dirty. That fit the bill for Stangg.
Always Stangg's life he was the weak orc. He always had to push himself harder, faster, stronger than anyone else and still they'd find a way to pull the joy of victory out from under his feet. One time during an organized fight a fellow Orc palmed a blade that remained hidden until Stangg felt it's impact against his cheek near his left eye. The butter smooth three inch gash along his face bled profusely as he called out against his rival. Everyone instead of heading his word laughed at him and jeered at him for being a coward.
A seething hatred settled in his belly as the recall of their words rang in his ears...
"Stangg you coward afraid to be a real orc and fight?"
"Can't take a hit to that beautiful face can you?"
"Take the weakling down brother!"
It was after the fight that he had his first encounter with a member from Redemption. Vicelich and Kirkuk.
Stangg had won the fight, although victorious he was ganged up on in the alleys of Nezebgrad and beaten to nigh death, left in Izune to be eaten by termites.
The dragging of robes against the cement. The metallic tapping and rhythmic steps as they walked together, their Arisen voices like nothing he'd ever heard.
Everything was blurry as Stangg tried to open his eyes as he lay in his own pile of blood. All he could see were two pairs are emerald eyes that glistened against their porcelain white faces. To Stangg, they were his Servants of Tensess that would guide him to Purgatory.
"Should we alert authorities?" Kirkuk asked. His voice was raspy, yet however a youthful undertone.
"They'd take too long." Vicelich responded, his words a cross between bitter and solemn.
"I'm surprised he's still alive. He should be dead from these wounds." Kirkuk said, placing his metallic hand on Stangg's wounds. Even his artificial cold touch felt warm, Stangg suddenly realized how close to death he truly was by this.
"I've seen this one before. It's his resolve that keeps him alive. Stand back Kirk." Vicelich ordered.
That was the last thing Stangg remembered before a warm darkness consumed him. It was like the sleep he was waiting for, no more pain, no more cold. When he awoke his wounds were gone, and when he turned to look about so were they. Only the night sounds of crickets, fireflies, and the buzzing cutting out of the flickering alleyway light.
He knew who they were, they were a couple officers of Redemption. Vicelich who was enigmatic and charismatic was an Astral Scholar appointed by Great Mages to carry out the deeds of the Empire and Kirkuk was one of his several understudies. He was known as being as humble as he was ambitious and eager to match his peers.
That was the moment he knew where he was meant to be. He scrambled to his feet and rushed to the Bort Quarter where he knew he'd find someone.
Bort Quarter was always alive with some of the most active mercenaries of the Empire. Here they'd get missions for various patrol tasks for certain parts of Sarnaut, gossip, and socialize among each other.
It was there where he saw Ellynna, Whitetokki, and Tinge going over some paperwork Tinge was holding. He walked up to them although he kept his distance. He had just realized he was still wearing the same tattered clothing he was wearing when the two healers had discovered him.
Their chattering stopped and he could see the confusion on Whitetokki and Tinge's face, Ellynna however, merely crooked her head.
"Thank you." He managed to say, the words seemed lodged in his throat.
"Hey..." Tinge said, questioningly. Her voice was the smoothest of any Arisen she had ever heard. "You're welcome, um..." Tinge asked, her eyes looking to White's only to see the same confusion.
"I'll handle this." Ellynna said, stepping past her companions. She met Stangg's eyes and took his hand. “Um, you’re welcome." she managed to say finally patting his hand nervously after a long silence.
"You're so articulate, Elly." Tinge sighed.
"What's this about?" White asked.
"Kirkuk and Vicelich saved my life." Stangg said.
"Oh, that. No, that was nothing. No need to--
"No, I would have died if Redemption members had not come across me. I wish to serve you."
"Oh my." Tinge said covering her white lips with her paperwork to hide her shock.
"Well we'll leave you two alone to talk, you seem to have important matters to discuss." Whitetokki said quickly as Tinge and White both turned heel to leave.
"Wait." Ellynna stated clearly and they froze. She looked at them both and sighed, shaking her head. "Hold that thought."
Ellynna turned to Stangg.
"You wish to be in Redemption you mean?" she asked.
"Oh, that." Tinge said relieved.
There was a brief pause. Ellynna's jaded eyes met his and it looked like she was digging into him. Stangg never understood Arisen, some of which had no mouth like Ellynna, he could never quite understand them. Her face, would never show her true emotion. She shook her head.
"Nope. It's not there. Okay now we can go." Ellynna said turning her back to Stangg and walking away, Whitetokki and Tinge in tow.
"Wait!" Stangg called, and they turned around. "What's not there?" he asked.
The silence between them returned. Whitetokki looked at Ellynna. There was a sad glow in Ellynna’s eyes.
"It's simply not there." Ellynna repeated and she turned her back and continued walking.
Stangg felt suddenly cold again, like an emptiness that was far too familiar. Of all the people to turn him away why would someone rumored to be so kind--- No, that must be wrong.
Stangg stood there stupidly and felt embarrassed, all the people around him that weren’t even paying attention even made him feel like he was being judged. The panic was all but maddening until he gasped as he felt the sudden jolt of reality defuse him as an armored hand rested on his shoulder.
“Stangg.” called a familiar voice.
It was Speed, another officer of Redemption. He was about the same age as Stangg, well muscled, and covered in full battle armor, the various battle marks showed true on his shield and armor, the pole arm on his back was sharpened to a fine razor that refracted the sunlight.
Stangg lowered his head and expect a fellow orc to beat him where he stood for dare approaching his guild mates. When the strike did not come, Stangg raised his head to see Speed with a crooked brow.
“You’re not just gonna take that are you Stangg?” Speed asked.
“I, uh, I guess.” Stangg said unsure of Speed’s intention.
“Ellynna says you don’t have it. Well do you even know what that means?” Speed asked.
Stangg shook his head carefully.
“Come with me. I’m just making a quick trip to our hanger. You can check out where we hang out most of the time.”
When Stangg reached the Nezebgrad Port he saw the various hangers that many guilds rented for their Astral ships to make port. Guilds tended to keep their ships together very much like a bragging rights art gallery so that people would know who and what they are dealing with. Redemption's Hanger was like this, several of their ships were being tended to by goblins and their captains, making sure every detail was to their approval. They were passing the Thunderchild where Gobrot, the owner of Thunderchild, was barking out orders.
“What is that? You see that?” Gobrot said, his Arisen foot set firmly on the head of a goblin.
The goblin squirmed and muttered something inaudible to Stangg’s hearing.
“Yeah, that. I said I didn’t want an Epic Pulsating Reactor. I already have a Pulsating what good does two give me? As for the cannons you botched that one up good and right. You put my [I Have a Potty Mouth] shield cannons all on one side, tell me how much salt have you been licking?” Gobrot said pressing his foot a bit more on the goblin who begged apology.
“Hey Gob, what’s going on here?” Speed asked, slightly concerned for the goblins soon-to-be-cut-short lively hood by the angry Savant.
“All these [I Have a Potty Mouth] new Goblins, I told ya Serrangelia shouldn’t have hired them. Now they’re running amok on our boats moving things around that just don‘t need to be. I just want some [I Have a Potty Mouth] maintenance. Who do I got to [I Have a Potty Mouth] to get it done right?” Gobrot said throwing a wrench at the goblin who was running away in terror and every other word there after was some form of Arisen curse words Stangg could not make out clearly, nor wanting to.
“Don’t mind him. Gobrot is a good guy, he just wants things done right.” Speed said, assuring Stangg that Gobrot was -mostly- harmless.
“Ah, here’s my girl. The Apocalypse.” Speed said approaching his ship.
The Apocalypse still had that same new shine of a new ship. Everything seemed to sparkle on it as speed beamed with pride as the goblins hurried about the ship doing their jobs keeping the ship in tip top condition.
Stangg felt slightly uncomfortable being there but he knew that Speed was not the type to easily understand why he would feel that way. Speed was always very popular and well liked where Stangg was very much an outsider. Stangg was feeling quite hard on himself when he felt someone bump into him.
“Oh, sorry. You shouldn’t have been standing there, silly.” Said a very light hearted Arisen, who went by the named Mindhack.
“I’m sorry.” Stangg said.
“What uh, what might you be doing here, uh… um… Now I must apologize, I didn’t catch your name?” Mindhack asked.
“He didn’t give it Mind, this is Stangg, he’s with me.” Speed said.
“Oh, I see. I mean I know, but manners and all. Don’t mind me then. Just passing through, trying to find Alternateing.” Mindhack explained, and Stangg noticed that as Mindhack spoke that they were very light on their feet, almost constantly in motion as if their body could not keep up with the brain’s quick commands. Which was normal for a psion of Mindhack’s caliber.
“He’s so hard to catch in the hanger, he’s always in and out so quickly because of his research. You know those scientists. I just need to get him these cannon crystals the goblins are bringing in for the Voyager. But it’s a bit hard when Gobrot is threatening the lot of them. I almost feel sorry for them, ha, ‘almost.’ Anyways I must be going, busy schedule! What was it? Stangg yes, quite. Welcome and goodbye!” Mindhack said and as quickly as they were there they were gone again. Stangg could only blink trying to process what just happened.
“I take it she’s mostly harmless too?” Stangg asked.
“Could be worse… Mindhack could be a furball.” A eloquently smooth growling voice said, when Stangg looked it was no other than Admonitor to his left was Vicelich again.
As Vicelich approached his steps were as fluid as always. Alongside him was Admonitor, another scholar who was in full Yasker Hawk Regelia his blue eyes burned like sapphires against the dark blacks and reds of the uniform.
“Glad to see you’re doing well.” Vicelich said, coming to a halt.
“Is this the one you mentioned earlier Vice?” Admonitor asked.
Stangg felt nervous.
“I heard you were participating in an illegal fight ring last night?” Admonitor asked sternly, his focus was almost searing Stangg’s skin.
“Y-Yes…” Stangg mumbled. Very nervous.
“One that was taking place in Izune?” Admonitor added quickly.
“Also one where it violates, three-no four, city regulations and mandates declared by the Department of Security and Regulation?” Admonitor asked.
“Y-Yes.” Stangg mumbled, his stomach feeling nauseated at the sight of those eyes boring him.
“The one that after the fight I had to dispatch deputies to break up the gang fights and minor riots that proceeded afterwords? Hours of red tape, mind you.” Admonitor growled.
“Yes.” Stangg wished he had something else to say for himself.
“I heard although you were beaten to a bloody pulp you still won?” Admonitor asked, his tone was very sharp like the daggers at his sides, Stangg felt maybe they would feel less painful that this minor interrogation. Dear Tensess did Stangg not want a real one.
“Yes Sir.” Stangg said, ready to hear the consequences of his actions. He would probably be thrown into Termitka Prision for a couple weeks. Stangg wondered if it would be safer there. Least he wouldn’t be beaten as severely.
“Good job.” Admonitor said, giving Stangg a quick salute.
“Wait what?” Stangg asked.
“It’s honorable. Victory or death I say.” Admonitor said, his eyes seemed suddenly harsh.
“What the Tep Admonitor, you had me sweating over here.” Speed said exhausted. Stangg was relieved he wasn’t the only one.
“What’s so amusing?” Admonitor asked. “Why so, Speed?” The Hawk asked, completely stone faced.
“Angrist and Zelia were looking for you Speed. Something about taking the Norsk out today.” Vicelich said, ignoring Admonitor’s question.
“Ah, okay, Stangg come with me.” Speed said heading over to where the Norsk and Red Demon were docked.
As they were leaving Stangg stopped and turned to Admonitor and Vicelich who seemed to continue on their way.
“Wait.” Stangg asked and they half turned to face him. “Ellynna said that I lacked, ‘it.’ What is ‘it’ that she’s talking about? Is there something that I need to get or have?” he mumbled.
“’It’ is not what you have. It’s what you are.” Vicelich explained.
“It’s something more valuable than what you can obtain.” Admonitor added.
“Like what?” Stangg asked. “Like treasure or relics? I don't have those. I'll be willing to travel to the ends of the Astral to help you guys achieve your goals.”
“It’s beyond what can be simply attained. However it’s something that you must see first before we can.” Vicelich finished, and without another word they walked off.
Angrist and Joe the Psycho were looking over some astral maps when they approached.
“Speed, my man!” Joe said turning and greeting him.
“Zelia’s up in the visor with Oxidized. I have it all planned out. Tanipha and Vixen are fitting the cannons as we speak!” Angrist added, his country twang highlighting a much friendlier demeanor compared to Joe's hardened one.
“Yeah? What exactly is it that you have planned again?” Speed asked.
“Pirating Speed, pirating. Kania is literally six jumps away at the moment. The idea is we go in and keep all League ships from making port. They go out, but don’t come back in.” Joe explained.
“All by yourselves huh?” Speed asked skeptical.
“No, Speed, that’s a suicide mission. I mean all of us. The entire Redemption fleet.” Angrist said.
“That’s like over a dozen ships.” Speed said.
“Yeah, see you assign two to three ships on shield detail, two artillery, five on cannons, the rest are on the fleet that board the ships.” Angrist continued.
“That’s pretty risky plan there.” Speed said crossing his arms.
“The only real problem---
Stangg looked up at the hull of Norsk and saw a giant Zem Golem. The golem that apparently the guild had just acquired and was hanging onto the hull of the second deck while it replaced some siding. The golem allowed the driver nearly one hundred percent free movement, however power sources were rare. Stangg was curious about the relic, he had never seen one before. The golem jumped down effortlessly, the ground quaked and nearly took Stangg off his feet.
“The only real problem is that we need to make sure everyone is on the same page.” The voice said emitting from the golem. “It takes coordination. Other than that, they wont expect it.”
“Zelia! What are you doing boss? Enjoying your new toy?”
“It’s pretty [I Have a Potty Mouth] nice I wont lie. I Thank you guys for helping me get this. Although I wish we had more power sources, I was thinking about heading out to Avilon to pick up some more. Who‘s this?” Zelia said redirecting their attention to Stangg.
“My name is Stangg.” Stangg said trying to sound confident.
“Oh you’re that orc that got mixed up in that fighting ring. Nice pair you got, still going even though the guy was cheating.” Zelia said.
“I didn’t have much choice really.” Stangg muttered.
“Suppose not.” Zelia said, the golem opened up to reveal a lithe thin blonde in armor much like Speed’s, Zelia jumped down and immediately pulled from inside her breastplate a cigarette and lit it taking a long drag before returning attention to Stangg.
“What brings you around these parts?” Zelia asked.
“You’re a woman? The leader of Redemption is a woman?”
“Yeah pretty close to it, what’s so hard to believe about that? Wanna feel them, they’re real.” Zelia said plainly.
Stangg blinked, then collected himself, realizing his stupid question received a stupid answer. “I want to join Redemption.”
Zelia stood there and he gave Stangg the same hard stare Ellynna did. Stangg braced himself for the 'no' when Zelia finally spoke.
“What do you think Redemption represents Stangg?” Zelia asked.
Stangg stood there for a moment unsure of how to answer. He had never been apart of anything, all his life he had nothing. Every moment was another preparation for next fight, the emptiness. There was nothing to look forward to. There was no joy in tomorrow. He had no real idea what it was like to---
That was it.
Stangg looked at Zelia, and Zelia smiled.
“That’s it.” Zelia smiled.
Stangg didn’t say anything but he and Zelia knew.
Redemption was not just a fancy name that they called themselves. They weren’t trying to redeem anyone or even themselves. They were however the underdogs. They are loyal, they are close, they’re family to each other and support each others goals and ambitions. Other guilds were out chasing treasure, but Redemption was seeking a different kind of wealth. They still did those things, however, they would never put themselves before the other, and never sacrifice those values to gain anything they‘d just wear. Not all that shines is silver and gold. Not all that shines is silver and gold... Stangg got it now.
“Welcome home Stangg.” Zelia said, finally.
---Ellynna <Redemption> [Nezeb]
Last edited by ellynna
on Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Ellynna - Senior Officer aka HR Lady of Redemption
"Fama nihil est celerius... Veritas Lux Mea..."