|Act IV: Setting the Stage|
Marchris 19th, 1221
An elevator in the Sabbaton Towers on the emissary antechamber floor opened.
No one was inside. At least, no one that could be seen.
With his Power active, a glaring Aizer Pulse scanned the lobby with his one good eye as the elevator doors closed behind him.
As the months went by, Pulse could tell he had changed. The long days that followed the loss of his Nethers-given eye and his failure to eliminate the Viscount saw nothing but ruthlessness and sinister aggression from the wolf.
The death of Pvt. Morales shook the other suspicious AER soldiers up rather hard, but Pulse knew that many of them would still betray him and the Republic in due time. In the following months, Pulse was holding executions for soldiers he had mind-read who had traitorous thoughts or intentions. He was shocked at the number of potential traitors he had among his ranks. Over two-hundred men were killed in a span of four months following the failed assassination and Pulse suspected that hundreds more were still plotting treason in his army. Why so many men and women were willing to compromise his rebellion, he didn't even have a guess.
The Troika were beginning to suspect that Pulse was losing his senses and were gradually distancing themselves from the Republic. He didn't care.
After he had killed an emissary by the name of Cornwallis, Pulse had donned a new attire for his excursions. A light-blue jumpsuit with black and white sleeves and a white hanging sash, armor plates, covering his shoulders and upper chest and back areas, connected by straps, brown boots, black fingerless gloves, silver kneepads, light-blue wrist guards, an ammo belt worn around his lower ribs and a holster with ammo pouches worn loosely around the waist. On occasion, he would wear a black, hooded cloak around the upper part of his body, held together by clips.
'Not as menacing as I would've hoped,' Pulse thought when he first wore the new attire. 'But, the cloak should improve the intimidation factor.'
Now, Pulse felt like a dark messiah as he looked around the lobby almost methodically. The failed assassination from nearly two years ago had affected him to a large degree, but not enough to shatter his perception of people, his poor sense of humor, or his ultimate goal.
'I think it's time I paid Damien a visit,' Pulse thought. 'Let him see the monster that he's unintentionally created.'
Casually, Pulse walked along the halls, his cloak gliding behind him.
* * * * *
Entering the Antechamber, Pulse could see that it was business as usual with the emissaries and senators. All stood around debating on what needed to be done and what they expected of the Viscount to do about it.
Pulse glared at the assembled crowd and waved his hand.
'All of you. Leave.'
In an instant, the politicians went silent and their faces went blank. By Pulse's will, they walked along the red carpet to the exit, walking past the concealed wolf.
With a smug smile, Pulse closed the door behind the last politician, then glanced across the massive room at the Viscount's office.
As he walked towards the office doors, Pulse reached out with his telepathy. He sensed two souls inside. One was Calah, the other was...
'Well, well, well! Isn't this a treat?'
* * * * *
"So,... I was just wondering why exactly Namah is being kept in her room all the time? I didn't think about it until now! Why is she being locked up the way she is?"
Lilith Calah stood before her father, Damien Calah, who sat at his desk.
"Lilith, I believe it is an overexaggeration to pronounce Namah's confinement to her room as 'being locked up'! You should know by now that she is a very... volatile young girl! To allow her the same free will as yourself could cause a rather unpleasant and possibly tragic incident among the public! I don't think we would want Namah to get herself into a situation where she could get herself or somebody else hurt!"
"Okay, but... I know she's... energetic! I don't think she's volatile! She can't be any worse than any other boy or girl who is in her position, right?"
Calah was about to counter Lilith's claim when he saw the door opening.
"I beg your pardon, but I'm having a rather important talk with my daughter!" he shouted at the door. Suddenly, he looked shocked when he saw the door swing open. Nobody was there and the antechamber was empty.
"H-hello?" Calah called out as Lilith looked back into the empty room.
Calah felt the air leave his lungs as his eyes dilated. The voice was unmistakeable.
From out of thin air, Pulse appeared, his hand on the doorknob as he pushed the door closed.
"Been a while, hasn't it?"
* * * * *
In a hallway three floors below, a deer security guard walked along until he heard someone yelling after him.
"Woods! Come quick!"
The deer spun around to see a feline security guard with a green cap on his head. "What's going on? Did Namah get away again? Spirits, Bill, I can't leave you alone with her for two minutes without-"
"It's not her! Damon is watching her, anyway! Just come on!"
Woods followed Bill through the hallways before finally stopping at a hallway containing the elevators and entrance to the stairs. The emissaries and senators were standing around the elevators with blank looks on their faces.
"What the hell is this?!" Woods exclaimed. "Call the rest of security! I'm gonna go see what's up in the antechamber!"
* * * * *
Calah felt his heart pumping at an unhealthy rate. His eyes twitched at the mere sight of the man he now considered a monster.
"My, my, you haven't changed at all!" Pulse said. "Physically and mentally! Just the same old dumbass I remember!"
Calah stood up from his desk as he stuck his finger under the surface, looking for his alarm.
"Don't even think about it!" Pulse yelled, shooting his arm towards Calah. Calah froze, his face going blank. Slowly, he pulled his arm back and stood up straight. Pulse lowered his arm, while still maintaining mental control, and Calah regained control of himself. He breathed heavily, looking around wildy.
Lilith simply stood in between Pulse and her father, not terrified at the wolf, but rather amazed.
"Wooow! So, you're Aizer Pulse? They said you died!"
Pulse looked down at the little girl and smiled. "Ah, yeah! Little Lilith! I remember you! I used to bounce you on my knee when you were only two, when I would come visit your folk's home!"
Pulse closed his eyes and entered her mind. "You're a heavy reader, from what I can tell! You've read a great deal of bland stories about my 'betrayal'! Don't say you heard this from me, but the media is a lie! Trust me, I'm a former politician. I would know."
"Shut up!" Calah screamed. "Don't you dare corrupt my daughter with your anarchic lies! You're a coward and a traitor!"
Pulse snapped his head up with a wide-eyed glare, making Calah droop his ears and figuratively shrink.
"You're lecturing me? About corruption... and lies, Damien? I have a right mind to shoot you between the eyes right now and raise Lilith and your other daughter as my own! But, that's not what I'm here for! It should be, but it's not!"
He pointed his finger at the Viscount. "A warning for you! Step down as Viscount or there will be hell to pay, old friend! You've drained me of my patience, Damien! I won't allow you to oppress our citizens for much longer! Just look at how easily it was for me to get up here and enter your office! That assassination attempt a couple of years ago was just for dramatic effect! I can find you and kill you wherever I want, whenever I want, however I want! Remember that!"
He spun around, preparing to exit, then he stopped and looked over his shoulder. "Oh, and by the way Lilith, don't worry about your teachers getting fired because of your spoiled classmates! I don't think you need them!"
With that, he casually opened the door.
As soon as he did so, a vase came swinging towards his face from the right of the door. Already sensing the move, he threw up his shield and the vase stopped.
Woods gulped as Pulse swiveled his head to look at him.
"Foolish bravery," Pulse said, pointing his arm at the guard. "It's really unnecessary in this situation."
Woods dropped the vase as he began floating into the air. With one swift motion, Pulse waved his arm towards a fountain and Woods went flying into its water.
Pulse continued on down the long rug to the exit, sensing that security was approaching.
'l'll be gone by the time they get here!' he thought. 'Hmmm. Maybe I should make... one last stop before I leave!'
* * * * *
Back in Calah's office, the Viscount slumped into his chair in exhaustion and fatigue while Lilith watched the cloaked wolf leave. While she was still amazed that such a historic figure was still breathing, she was also shocked at the threat towards Calah's life.
'Maybe they are right,' she thought. 'But, they've also been wrong more than they've been right. Is Aizer Pulse really just a murderer or...'
She looked back at her father, who had a hand covering his face in distress.
'...is he just a man fighting for what he believes is a better Anduruna?'
* * * * *
In the Viscount's private housing five floors above the antechamber, Pulse walked past the lobby desk and proceeded down a hallway. As he turned right into another hallway, he saw a grey canine guard sitting in a chair next to a door. The canine showed signs of exhaustion
"Just because there's been an emergency doesn't mean you can just run around and do whatever!" he said aloud, panting. "We've been over this!"
Pulse assumed he was talking to whoever was in the room next to him. He pointed his arm at the guard and waved his hand. 'You look tired. Why don't you take your fifteen-minute break now and get some sleep, eh?'
The canine yawned hard, then went limp, falling into a deep sleep.
Pulse walked forward and approached the door. Carefully, he turned the knob without a sound and cracked the door open, peering inside.
It was a room for a little girl and in the middle of the room, the said little girl, a pink imp with purple stripes, was sitting cross-legged on the floor, facing a window that dominated one side of the room.
"How many times do you think I'm going to forgive you for your failures, Gregori?" she said, staring at a lime-green monster doll with her glowing-green eyes. "The whole point of him thinking I was running around just for fun was so you could ambush him and eviscerate him! And yet, HERE WE ARE! Back in the same old room, in the same old situation, with your same old incompetence! What am I going to have to do to make you follow up with your part of my grand schemes, hmmm? Threaten to replace you with one of Lilith's colorful minions? I'm sure they will be much more productive than you!"
Pulse closed the door as softly as he could, trying hard not to laugh. A smug grin plastered over his face, he casually walked down the hallway to the elevators.
'One of these days, I'm gonna get you out of here,' he thought. 'One of these days,...'
Junris 4th, 1221
Deep into the night, along the beach of the Margate District, a black-clad figure rose from the waters. Behind the figure levitated a scum-coated treasure chest out of the water.
Aizer Pulse, in a black diving suit, placed the chest down upon the sand.
'Guess Grunn wasn't bullshitting Scald about this!' he thought. 'Whatever's in here, I'll have to give him a portion of it!'
Snapping the rusted lock off with his Power, he flung the lid open. His eyes went wide at the contents of the chest.
It was full to the brim with aqua-colored stones, gleaming brightly in the moonlight.
He slammed the lid shut. 'Oh yeah, THIS will definitely be enough to bribe the Norvondire officials! Grunn's gonna be pissed when he finds out I snagged this first! Heheheh!'
Unbeknownst to him, a single stone fell out of the chest just as he slammed it shut. Picking the chest up with his Power, he ran away from the beach.
Leaving behind one little sparkling stone.
* * * * *
Junris 11th, 1221
After days of dividing up the precious stones and sending them to the Norvondire District Senator and his aides and bribing the regional social office and City Guard officials in the district, Pulse and the AER were able to secretly setup a base of operations within an old castle in the more historically valuable part of the district. Areas of the Norvondire District that were considered valuable were restricted to civilian access except once a month as sight-seeing attractions.
This made it all the more easy for Pulse to maintain a healthy military outpost within Anduruna that was hidden from the public eye.
In the castle's throne room, Pulse sat at a fold-up card table looking over inventory reports while soldiers continued to unpack tables, data-scrolls and other necessities for the outpost.
Pulse looked up fast as the throne room's large doors were pushed open. Two rebel soldiers dragged a struggling boy towards him.
They stopped in front of Pulse and one soldier saluted. "Sir! We found this kid sneakin' around our weapon crates in the courtyard! He must've snuck in on one of our groundcars!"
Pulse looked down at the boy, who looked around ten years of age. Pulse could tell he was a canine mix, but couldn't pin down the types of canine he was. The boy looked up at Pulse with his gleaming orange eyes. His clothes were stained and ragged.
"Now, what's a boy like you doing in this part of town?" Pulse asked, kneeling in front of the boy. "What's your name, kid?"
The soldiers released the boy, who pulled his arms out of their grip with a sneer. "I'm Bastion! But, my friend's call me Bast! Are you gonna hurt me, too?"
"Hurt you, too? What do you mean by that?"
"Well, I came here 'cuz the guys who live around my home have weird looking guns! When I heard that the rebels that follow you use the same guns, I just wanted to see if it was true! And,... I was wondering if you could beat up those guys 'cuz... they've been beating ME up!"
"These guys... are using MY guns?" Pulse asked. "Where are they?"
Bast looked surprised, then said, "T-they hang around an old warehouse near my house, in Ruskol! None of the other tough guys bother them 'cuz of the guns they have, now!"
Pulse glared at the throne room doors and stood up.
"All right, kid! Come with me! We're gonna go settle things with these punks!"
Bast nodded with a smile as he and Pulse walked out of the throne room.
"So, Bast is short for Bastion, eh?" Pulse said abruptly. "I thought it was short for another word!"
"Don't ask stupid questions, kid! Knowing the part of Ruskol you live in, I'm sure you've heard it plenty of times!"
"Ohhhhh, that word.... HEY! My name is not-!"
"Shhhh! Don't spoil the last of your innocence, kid!"
* * * * *
Roughly twenty minutes later, Pulse and Bast knelt behind a fence covered in sheets of metal. An abandoned warehouse was buzzing with activity on the other side. Young thugs stood around smoking drugs with colored smoke, playing card games or watching a ryuu-neko fight. Some of them were carrying crates into the warehouse from a nearby groundcar.
Pulse glanced at the gang members and saw one with a bandana around his arm. A crest that looked like a curled-up seahorse, but with the head of a hedgehog with a scowling face, was on the bandana.
"The Street Urchins!" Pulse mumbled. "These punks have been getting pretty active in the black market as of late! More than usual, that is!"
"What are we gonna do? There's so many!"
"You mean, what am *I* gonna do? I'm gonna go in there and have a little talk with 'em and see if they want to return my guns the easy way or the hard way! YOU are either gonna stay here or go on home! You showed me where they operate, so your business here is done! If no other punks show up to give you trouble, then that means I smoothed things over with 'em! Got it?"
Bast nodded hard, looking back at the warehouse.
Pulse stood up. "All right! Feel free to leave whenever, but don't be seen!"
The wolf walked along the fence until he reached a gate that was already swung wide open.
Determined, Pulse marched into the wide-open property between the fence and the warehouse. His Power inactive, it took only moments for the gang members to see Pulse approaching their base.
Instantly, the idle thugs slowly converged on him. He stopped as they all stood in a large group in front of him, some of them holding blunt objects. Pulse could see most of them carried Daredevil's and Slasher's.
A thug in the very front walked forward. "Yo, man! You'd best fuck off while you still can! Just 'cuz you's the Pulse doesn't mean you can just walk up into our grill, dawg!"
Pulse looked surprised. He looked left and right, then back at the thug. "This entire property... is actually a grill? Huh. Could've fooled me! Biggest fucking grill I've ever seen, in any case!"
The thugs all pointed at him and looked at each other in confusion.
"Anyway, I'm not here to talk about grills or trade nonsensical insults! I'm here to talk with your boss about you boys using my guns!"
The lead thug turned and nodded at one of his friends, who took off running towards the warehouse.
"He'll be right with you, dawg!"
Five minutes later, a neatly-clothed jackal stomped out to the group. "The hell is goin' on out here? I can't screw my girls for one minute without you-"
He stopped dead as he rounded the group and spotted Pulse.
"Gulan Dallows!" Pulse shouted. "I didn't know you were in charge, now! Congratulations! And, as you should know, being the leader of any organized group means that everything... is *your* fault! What am I talking about, you might ask? Well, I heard from a very reliable source that you and your merry bunch here procured some of MY guns from the black market! As you may already know, my guns are NOT for sale! Especially for two-bit hoodlums who only seek to use them for their own chaotic ideals! Now, I'm not exactly in a stab-and-shoot mood today, so how about we step into your office and we can settle this little problem like civilized, high-class gentlemen, eh? What do ya say?"
Gulan looked around and Pulse could already sense the aggression.
"Take him out!" Gulan screamed, running back to the warehouse. "I want his guts hanging from the roof of our hideout when you're done with him!"
Pulse summoned his Power as the thugs readied their weapons. Some of them called forth their own Powers.
"Typical," Pulse mumbled.
Brandishing his machete, he braced himself as half of the thugs charged at him.
Several thugs swung lead pipes and switchblades, none of the weapons being effective to counter a machete. Pulse parried their slashes and blows with ease before stabbing his blade into their ribs or slashing their back.
More thugs charged at the wolf. Before they could reach him, he vanished from their sight.
"Ah, shit, man! Where is he?"
He received his answer in the form of Pulse's machete going through his chest from his back. The gun-weilding thugs open fired, disregarding their friends body. Pulse was already out of the way when they fired. With his telepathy, he was making them think that he was still standing there, with his blade impaling their friend.
"Shit! Is he still there or what?! I don't see his body!"
"Whatever, man! Just keep shootin'!"
Pulse crept up behind another thug and slashed at his back. The thugs heard the cry of pain and turned, continuing to shoot.
For minutes, the thugs could do nothing but aim their sights at the sounds of their dying comrades. Eventually, only five thugs out of the thirty-man group were left.
From the warehouse's large doors, Gulan growled and whammed his fist into the doorframe.
"The rest of you! Get out there and find him! He has to be gettin' tired by now!"
From the inside behind him, the last remaining gang members rushed out to the battle area, this time carrying Screamer's or Mist's. Altogether, there were fifteen thugs left.
The thugs slowly walked across the large property, looking for any sign of movement from invisibility.
"Yo, man, let's bunch up! He can't get us from behind, then!"
Unknown to them, however, as they began to back up against one another, Pulse was standing in between them, focusing the telekinetic energy around his body.
As the thugs were nearly inches from squishing him, he leapt up and with a mighty scream, he released the built-up energy in all directions. The thugs closest to him were reduced to ashes by the intense energy. Others went flying. A small crater formed on the ground beneath him.
Landing solidly in the crater, he revealed himself for a brief moment.
Suddenly, he regretted it, as his mind was bombarded with deafening sound. He screamed and crumpled into the crater as an endless wave of sound blasted his ears and brain.
Gulan, with a solid white halo, slowly walked forward with his mouth wide open, an endless stream of sound waves pouring out. Unlike Alicia's Power of sound blasts, Gulan's sonic abilities were more focused, being able to use a steady stream of sound in a concentrated spot. Though, even concentrated, glass fermentae bottles were bursting and the warehouse's unbroken windows were shattering.
Pulse writhed in pain as he couldn't focus enough to stop Gulan.
With one loud pop of his sound energy, Gulan finally went silent as Pulse groaned in agony, his ears bleeding.
Gulan grinned. "You just wiped out most of my street clan, you bastard! But, at least those who died here today can rest peacefully in knowing that their fearless leader avenged them!"
The jackal pulled out a Stingray from inside his coat. "Sayonara, bitch!"
Before he could pull the trigger, he yelped as he fell to one knee.
Still in pain, Pulse looked up to see Bast, with a lead pipe, standing behind Gulan. The young boy had hit Gulan in the back of his left knee.
Pulse saw his chance, grabbing his machete.
"Look away, Bast!" he screamed.
The boy obeyed as Gulan raised his gun. Pulse slapped it away as he reared his right arm back.
"No!" the jackal screamed as the blade was brought down hard across the left shoulder blade.
Gulan attempted to scream as blood ran into his mouth. Pulse kicked the dying clan leader, freeing his machete from the wound.
Within moments, Gulan was dead. Pulse looked at Bast, seeing the canine boy cringing.
He walked over and grabbed the boy's shoulder in reassurance. "It's okay, kid! It's over!"
Bast nodded, refusing to turn around. Pulse looked towards the warehouse, then at the nearby streets.
"The Guard will be here any minute! No time to waste! C'mon!"
Pulse bolted for the warehouse. Bast followed on his heels.
With his Power, Pulse gathered all of the AER's weapons and began loading them back into the crates they came in. Bast gathered some of the guns from the bodies outside before Pulse came to help him.
Loading the crates onto the groundcar, Pulse jumped into the rider's seat. Bast climbed his way up to sit beside him. They both smiled at one another.
"Thanks for the save, Bast!" Pulse commented. "But, if you ever do something like that again, I'll whip the living tar out of you! Is that clear?"
"Yes, sir!" Bast answered quickly.
"Good boy! Now, let's get out of here!"
Snapping the reigns, the groundcars manekales reared back and galloped out of the warehouse.
Roughly a minute passed before City Guard forces arrived.
* * * * *
Junris 5th, 1221
Standing outside of his castle, now known as Outpost Parasite, Pulse took a drag from a cigarette as he observed the deserted streets once roamed by the medieval citizens.
He looked to his left and saw Bast approaching.
"Well, look who's back!"
"Hi, Mr. Pulse! I, uh, don't think I had the chance to say thanks before you dropped me off at home yesterday!"
"Hey, not a problem, kid! I was gonna find out about those guys, anyway! I would've taken them out eventually! Seems I've been doing two things instead of one quite a lot recently!"
Bast scratched the back of his head. "Well, did you really have to go and... kill them?"
"Hey! Their boss told them to kill me, first! I tried to talk to him, but he wanted to do things the hard way, which didn't surprise me! I did what I had to do! And, as for you, I meant what I said when we left that place, yesterday! Don't be stickin' your neck out for me like that! You've got a life to live! My life just isn't worth savin'!"
"It's not? Why not?"
Pulse looked away, then sighed. "Let's just say... when you've been wanting something for so long and you want to get that something your way, only to be rejected, you tend to want to just... give it all up! I've been at this rebel game for quite a while now! I'm tired of it! I should be the Viscount of this country right now or in early retirement! Instead, I'm a revolutionist, causing more harm than I am good! I almost can't figure out what to do next!"
Pulse leaned against a gloworb pole, rubbing his head. Bast's ears drooped as he looked down. "I'm... sorry, Mr. Pulse!"
Pulse looked at him, then smiled. "It's not your fault, kid! Don't worry about it! And, the name's Aizer! "Mr. Pulse" reminds me too much of the old days and I don't want to go there right now!"
Bast looked up with a smile of his own. "Okay, Aizer!"
"Kid, I know I shouldn't do this, but I got the feeling that I won't be seeing the last of you after today! I know you'll be keeping an eye on me from abroad and you're the kind of kid who likes sneakin' around and gettin' in trouble! So, I think I'm going to make you a junior member of the Aequitus Equitus Republic! With this title, you're technically not even a member of the rebellion, just a lower kind of recruit waiting for approval before joining the ranks! If you keep out of trouble long enough and let me know about any other creeps in this city causing trouble with my guns, you just might join my little fold of friends, the Sierra Team, one of these days!"
"Yep! Just as long as you stay alive, keep your nose decently clean and let me know of anything suspicious and I'm sure you'll be saving my neck again some day, not as an innocent kid, but as a trusted comrade and friend!"
Bast stood up straight and gave his best impression of the Republic salute. "I won't let you down, Aizer!"
Pulse chuckled. "I'm sure you won't, kid! Now, get out of here!"
Bast nodded and waved goodbye, running off. Pulse waved back.
With a shake of his head, he thought, 'I *must* be losing my mind!' as he walked back into Outpost Parasite.
Marchris 5th, 1223
Aizer Pulse leaned his head on his desk in Outpost Fenris as he looked up at the ceiling.
'Psychology. It's the only way to show them.'
Approximately one year ago, a large group of citizens in the government's financial departments had noticed irregularities in the bank accounts of the Norvondire Senator, his aides, and the officials in the social office and the City Guard. After much digging, they managed to convince one of the bribed officials to reveal that Pulse had paid him and many others to keep quiet about the AER's military presence in the Norvondire District.
For a time, these financial workers had kept quiet, but in recent months, they had begun to protest in front of major landmarks across the city, chanting that Pulse's return to political power was imminent and that he was a trustworthy man. The group has since named itself 'The Pulse of Freedom'.
Pulse himself was befuddled that these people had seen the light of truth so quickly. It didn't take long for him to realize that many of the workers were some of his closest supporters in the financial department during his run as Viscount-Elect.
However, as Pulse discovered that another protest would be held in the Theophanies District, his mind churned with disturbing plans.
'These people want me back but, even after so many protests, the rest of the populace just think they're lunatics. Protesting for a "tyrant" to be put into office! Brainwashed into supporting him and his rule! How am I ever going to get the rest of the population to accept me again?'
Pulse glanced out the window of his office and saw the sun was nearly set.
Grabbing the remote for his data-scroll, he turned it on and flipped it to a news channel.
"...and I must admit, this has to be the most active protests of them all!" a reporter said. "Officials estimate that at least two-hundred people had made the long walk from Sabbaton all the way here to the 32nd Church of Nethers, one of the more famous churches for its architectural beauty! Calling themselves the Pulse of Freedom, these people are demanding that Aizer Pulse be pardoned for all of his crimes, Viscount Calah be impeached, and Aizer Pulse to be put in his place! One has to wonder if this is another one of the famed terrorist's mind control tricks or simply an organized act of protest for anarchism! The crowd behind me appears to be getting a bit raucous now! We'll be back with you when we get to a more safer location! This is-"
Pulse switched the data-scroll off and threw his remote into it.
"Lies!" he shouted out loud. "It's nothing but lies!"
He stood up, pacing back and forth in an effort to control his anger.
'They're putting these people down with their lies!' he thought. 'The rest of the city already think the protestors are anarchists and psychopaths! If the media keeps putting them down like this, the people and the government will never listen to them, no matter what!'
Pulse recalled what he saw from the live scroll-camera feed. A platoon of fifty safety troops stood guard in front of the church, springer rifles at the ready. The platoon officer stood between his men and the protestors saying something that couldn't be heard from the scroll-cameras location.
Pulse gazed off into the distance. 'This insanity has to stop! The people have to see the truth! Whether they want to or not!'
Walking to the office door, he swung it open and marched out, grabbing his Stingray and holster on the way out.
* * * * *
After being teleported from the Haven telepad, Pulse reappeared on a telepad in the basement of an abandoned church. Climbing his way up the stairs, he appeared through a door in the church's nave. The pews had since rotted away and the streams running along the aisle were bone dry.
Listening carefully, he could already hear the shouts and chants of a massive crowd outside.
Pulse made his way to the front doors and saw they were boarded shut from the outside. Looking around, he saw a large window that had been long since shattered. With his Power active, he used his telekinesis to leap up to the windowsill and sat, perched.
Hundreds of unarmed protestors marched through the streets, carrying signs demanding for freedom and the end of bureaucratic oppression. Some of the signs were copies. One such common sign read, "Aizer is a Pulse! Calah is a Stroke!"
Pulse couldn't help but chuckle at such signs. He struggled, however, to lock his telepathic stealth onto the mass of people who were in his view. He was fully visible from his vantage point.
'Better jump down while I still can!'
Looking down to see a dark alley, he leapt from his perch. Landing softly, he straightened out his clothing and armor and proceeded into the alley, away from the giant flock.
* * * * *
Unlike the abandoned church that served as a joint Troika/AER safehouse, most of the churches in Theophanies were tall, well over ten stories. The 32nd Church of Nethers stood at nearly twenty stories high. It was no surprise to Pulse that the protestors chose such a significant structure to march to.
Sneaking into a nearby church, he walked up a flight of stairs to the top of a bell tower.
When he reached the top, he climbed out and went up to the tower's roof. Standing atop the bell tower, he looked down the street towards the 32nd Church. The front of the crowd had long since reached it and it was only continuing to build. The City Guard platoon shifted nervously as their commanding officer stood between them and the protestors. A megaphone was in his hand.
"Attention, ladies and gentlemen!" he began. "Please leave this area immediately! You are disrupting public foot traffic in this area and causing civil unrest! There is no need for this! Disperse immediately!"
The protestors booed at the officer and his men.
"We're not going anywhere!"
"We're not leaving until Calah is out of office!"
"What are you gonna do about it? This is a holy sight! You can't touch us!"
Pulse watched as the troopers shifted their bodies while the crowd grew more restless.
'This needs to be done!' Pulse thought shamefully. 'I promise, your sacrifices will not go in vain! Please forgive me!'
The wolf looked straight at the officer, who was holding his hands up to try and calm the protestors.
'You've been struck in the arm by an object!'
Suddenly, the officer lurched back, as if hit in the arm by a thrown object.
"Arrruugh! Who threw that?!"
The troopers looked at each other in concern and desperation, believing their CO was crumbling under the pressure.
Pulse aimed his thoughts at the officer and his men.
'Someone's drawn a gun! You *must* open fire!'
At that moment, the troopers and their CO each raised their weapons at the crowd. The people in front were on the verge of panic.
Pulse turned away, a look of remorse and regret plastered over his face. As he climbed back into the bell tower he heard the two words, in his mind, that would haunt him for a very long time.
* * * * *
Marchris 10th, 1223
Outpost Fenris was much more quieter than usual. Almost all of the personnel could feel an uneasiness coming from within their base.
The uneasiness, in question, being their leader. In the darkness of his office, Pulse had his chair turned to the door while he faced the flag of his rebellion.
Drinking a bottle of Scinter's Mark, he didn't even flinch when his office door opened.
Jerry Forza walked in, feeling nervous as he closed the door.
"What is it, Jerry?" Pulse mumbled, barely audible.
Jerry gulped, looking at a clipboard. "W-well, Boss, we received another status report from Outpost Parasite in the Norvondire District! Still no sign of civil rebellion! The media and the politicians had the whole massacre under wraps just minutes after it happened! It's been five days now! T-they're convinced that the people have been talked out of reacting to the killings! Not even the Sacrarean worshippers who were around at the time haven't said anything, even with the chaos and blood on their streets!"
Jerry stared at the back of Pulse's chair. No movement came from it.
"And...?" Pulse whispered, sensing there was more.
Jerry cringed in fear. "W-we received a m-message from the Troika! Y-you've been placed on their hit list! Any Republic forces i-in their territories will be fired upon! T-they know you caused the massacre! T-they'll be looking to eliminate you now!"
Jerry tensed his body, bracing himself for anything.
"S-sir, please, we can talk-"
Before he could finish, his clipboard began to crumble in his hands.
"Get... the fuck... out... now."
Jerry dropped the remains of his clipboard and quickly walked out of the room.
Pulse stood up, walking to the wall that held his flag.
His eyes danced around almost uncontrollably as his rage boiled over. He grabbed the flag on one side and yanked it down, tearing it in half.
"RrrrAAAAUUUUGGGGHH! DAMN IT! UuuAUUUUUGGHHH! AUUUUGGGGHHHHH!"
* * * * *
Juliris 4th, 1223
Squatting on a rooftop, Pulse looked across the immense city of Anduruna from an old apartment in the Margate District.
'I won't stop... until I am Viscount or until this country is nothing but ashes at my feet,' he thought grimly. 'If I can't have peace, no one will.'
With that, he jumped off the roof and into the shadows of an alley.
Act Theme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqmRDV0a_70
You must be logged in to post to a thread.