This story is set after the end of the Darwin's Soldiers stories, and talks about Neku's memories of his teammates and friends who died in battle. The reason I say it's slightly Altered Universe is that, while these characters all die or will die in the RP, they are alive in other people's stories. So it's partially canon, I suppose.
Anyways, on to the story.
Neku stood atop the hill, looking at the five unmarked piles of stone sitting in front of him. To most people, these stones meant nothing, but to him, they were filled with memories of the losses he had endured. Under these five simple piles lay the bodies of the team he had been the leader of during the final timeframe to stop the Dragonstorm Project. The people whose lives he had saved, and who had saved his life in return. His...friends...his family. Having been raised from a synthetic culture, he had no one to call family, so he had attatched to them instead. He looked at each in turn, thinking back on each of the people buried under them as he did.
Under the first pile of stones lay Cale, the Chameleon. Cale, like Neku, had been given the power to generate and control electricity by the experiments done to him at Pelendavia, but unlike Neku, had originally sided with the terrorists menacing the facility. When their betrayal left Cale with no options left, he joined up with the scientists and experiments, fighting valiantly alongside them, even risking his life to shut down the bridge that the terrorists had set up in the facility. From there, he had joined up with Neku and several other experiments, participating in strikes against several smaller Dragonstorm bases and facilities. Then, during that time, a man had searched them out, making them an offer to join a task force dedicated to eliminating Dragonstorm entirely. They had joined, and during a strike on a larger facility, been re-united with several of their old friends from Pelendavia. Cale had also met a fox named Aimee, an experiment from the facility, with whom he had fallen in love. But she was engaged to another fox, named Aydin. When he found this out, Cale left them behind, seeking out a Dragonstorm base, and voluntarily subjecting himself to the procedures. When Neku and the others attacked the base, Cale, along with his new "partner" Kayra, attacked them. But when Kayra launched a fatal attack at Aimee, some part of Cale stirred through the control chip, and he stepped in front of the attack, then destroyed Kayra in one swift attack before dying in Aimee's arms.
"You always lived following your own path, Cale. I hope that, in the afterlife, you find the kindness the world so denied you...my brother."
Neku thought, shifting his eyes right some.
Under the next pile of stones, Kagetora was interred. The young Vigoorian ninja had joined the others at Pelendavia, under orders from his homeland to assist in the shutdown of the Dragonstorm Project. He helped the team through several close fights, then left them, joining Neku's team and following them until the raid where they met their old teammates, when he recieved new orders from the Vigoorian empire. His new objective was to kill anyone with knowledge of the Dragonstorm experiments, and to preserve the facilities for the use of his people. He followed these orders, gunning down three members of the newly-reunited team, before he himself was killed.
"Kagetora...you chose duty over what you wanted to do, and proved to everyone the way that a Ninja lives...and how he dies."
Another rightward shift of his eyes brought Neku to see the third pile of stones, this one marking the location of 1st lieutenant Roy Hawkeye. The mechanically-augmented avian was another one of Pelendavia's many super-soldier attempts, and, once awakened from stasis in the Advanced Weapons Testing Room, joined the scientists in defense of the facility, driving off the terrorists with his array of powerful weapons, and aiding the team with his kind, focused demeanor. He, too, had joined the Anti-Dragonforce Task Group, participating in missions with his characteristic focus and determination. Even after Kagetora and Cale's desertions and betrayals, he continued to believe the best of them, right up until he met his end at Cale's hands in the facility.
"Hawkeye...you were such a stick in the mud all the time, but...without you, I don't know what to do. I guess you were something of my anchor..."
Neku sighed, then shifted his gaze to the last two piles of stones.
Under the last two piles lay Slash and Agito, two bio experiments from Pelendavia. Slash, a wolf with the power to cut matter from any distance, and Agito, a mixed-breed with the power to create spikes from his body, and who, for the longest time, kept himself restrained in a straitjacket to minimize the threat he had presented. The two kept each other's company almost constantly, and worked together flawlessly as a team in the many battles they had faced alongside the others. But all the teamwork in the world couldn't save them from being brutally murdered by Kayra.
"Rest well, you two...know that you'll never be forgotten."
Neku thought silently, remembering that the two's worst fear was that they would die unremembered...
At long last, Neku stood up from the hill, looking out over the city he had moved into. He had hoped once to retire to someplace far from conflict with the beautiful Siberian Husky Snow, a fellow experiment who he had loved, but, after the end of the conflict, she had left him, saying that he had changed, and was not the one she loved any longer. So instead, he had moved into the city, living in a tiny apartment by himself, rarely leaving save for food and to visit the graves of his friends. As he watched the sun set behind the towering buildings, his lips parted, and he uttered a single thought.
"Evolution is cruel. It doesn't care for the people it kills, shows no mercy to anyone...and so, I fade into obscurity, just another relic of the past..."
He said softly, starting down the hill...
If you're talking about Pavlov's checkmate, I've realized that it's caused nothing but continuity errors since it's creation. Once the third RP is over I'm going to go back and give Pavlov a serious re-working so it fits established canon, so for now, we should consider Pavlov retconned, and this canon :)
Aw, this story made me sad :( These characters have done so much, been around since the beginning of Darwin's Soldiers...but all in all, it was a fitting send-off.
Is this story going to continue?
Nah. Not unless anybody else wants to make other characters have similar. This is a one-shot, after which, Neku simply disappears. Becomes a normal person, and dies eventually.
Okay, so...nevermind. This is going to become an entirely different universe from the DS RP. Everyone's going to live. And so, this is a "What-if" story
Who is Neku by the way and what role does he play within the Darwin's Soldiers universe? There are too many posts to sift through to find out, so I found it better to ask here instead. :angel
Neku's a psyonic experiment from the original lab where the Dragonstorm was discovered, and he's a frequent hero in the RP storyline. He's an anthro lizard.
This is really good.
Dark and heartwrenching. A nice change from the high test stories that LB&T and I have been writing.
In fact, I might write a short one shot of my own.
Same with me too....I am considering writting one myself.
But I have to say, well done StarfallRaptor ^^
Hah! Now I am too! We might get a whole rash of one-shots as nice send-offs for the characters! Great going Starfall!
But my long stories are definitely going to be finished first ;)