Vaana was the only Vortixx engineer of his clan.
Ceran was the clan-leader. He made the orders. He made the calls.
But even with all of his tools to bring him a shred of 'respect,' Vaana knew he would stand no chance in the face of danger. And he was wise enough to know.
Vaana inspected a group of new ones, "travellers, scouts from other scattered clans, warriors, peacemakers," coming in through the rusted iron gate. The gate slammed across the side of the wall, causing a tumble of small boulders to roll onto the sandy ground of the courtyard. He watched Ceran welcome the Vortixx through our gates, and quickly pulled one aside. Vaana was unsure of why Ceran had pulled him aside, but knowing his leaders hostile motives, he decided to stay away.
Ceran wasn't the most intelligent leader, and the whole clan knew it. But based on how often Ceran sharpened his blade, most knew to back off.
Vaana pondered; Vortixx knew battle, they knew speed. They knew tactics. They knew how to win in war. But if you dare to look into the eyes of a Vortixx, you'll see... Vortixx may look wise. But they have no thought of what their actions may cause. They do not see into the near future.
Only few were as smart as Vaana, the engineer. Only few can look into a creature's eyes and know when to turn around.
Vaana was an engineer, and nothing more. And as Vaana sat in the courtyard, he pondered this to himself. But he knew that although he made a good point, it was irrelevant in the fast-paced life of his kind.
Vaana stood up. He would barter with the traders from other clans, offering weapons and tools to survive the harsh conditions of the outlying lands outwards of the Clan-line. He scraped together the tools he was working on, somewhat happy with his creations. One was made to provide extra oxygen in the harsh climates. Another, powerful enough to blast through a wall of rock and stone.
Vaana remembered to bring his crutch. He had sustained a minor injury to his leg on a scouting mission. Proves my point, he thought to himself. Ceran isn't fit to be the leader of our clan. Why put an engineer on a scouting mission? As Ceran looked away, Vaaana gave a look of disgust to his leader.
Sundown. Vaaana had sold many merchandise to the traders from other districts and clans. He had made a slight more income than last time. He had traded for leather and metal to make more tools and weapons. We're in dire need of stronger weaponry.
The clan had recently been invaded by powerful Rahi. The Guards were not strong enough to fend from them.
Oh well, he thought. It's not my business to worry about our forces.
Later that night, when the camp was quiet, and only the Xaa-Owls were awake, Vaana left his dwelling.
I could've sworn I just heard a noise come from the gate. He gazed across the courtyard to see the familiar sights, his eyes still adjusting to the dark. He shrugged it off, and went back to rest.
Later that night, Vaana woke up to the sound of blade against metal, and the shouts from the clan. There was battle. Vaana grabbed his shield. Probably one of the outlying clans, trying to take our loot. Well, they won't this time. But to his surprise, he saw nothing. The Guards were simply swinging at air.
"Are you crazy?" Vaana shouted. "What're you doing? You'll wake up the whole clan if you keep this up!"
"They're here!" One shouted. "The Rahi from before, except invisib--" The guard was cut of from an invisible blow to the right leg. He crawled on the ground until the invisible beast put him out of his misery.
"Everyone!" Ceran shouted. "Evacuate the area! Run as far as you can!"
Vaana stood there, taking it all in, as he watched the others flee.
"That means you too, Vaana!"
I can't leave. This is my home. I have to stay and fight.
"If you feel the need to stay, fine, but try to do something productive then!"
Some of the Guards were already fleeing. Better to run then to swing at air, one shouted. The cowards, Vaana thought. He knelt down and grabbed a firearm off the ground. Spray burst. Made by myself. A better chance to hit on-target.
As Vaana fired, he watched others fall, dwellings torn down, followed by blazing fire. Nothing they could do could stop their wrath. Yet we keep fighting. I guess that says a lot.
"Regroup! We need to regroup and make a better plan!"
"There's no time for plans! This is pointless."
"Agreed! We must leave. There's no chance left for us here!"
"No. We do not back down," Vaana stepped out into the opening. "This is our home, and we must fight for what is ours."
"Speak for yourself!"
A large fractions of the Guards ran off, over the peak, not to be seen again. They left as cowards. Only a few were left fighting in the clearing. Ceran, three other guards, and Vaana.
Vaana looked upon the blazing embers that was their clan minutes ago, peaceful under the night sky.
They knew it was no use, but they stayed fighting to their last breath, and kept in mind what Vaana had said. This is our home, and we may as well fight for what is ours. Vaana kept that in mind, and did not turn back. Ceran fought beside him, as equals in kind. As Ceran looked towards him, Vaana gave a look of thanks to his leader.
We need to learn to stand our ground. That's greater than being wise or battle-smart. I see it now. I think I've known it all along. It's not about dying a coward. It's about dying a hero. It's what you do that makes you a hero.
Vaana's last thoughts echoed throughout eternity, and echoed in the minds of all. It's what you do that makes you a hero.
Edited by Extractor, Nov 21 2012 - 09:53 AM.