- Steiner FranzEstablished Member
- Joined : 2015-11-26
Posts : 496
Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:43 pm
The world at war.
It was hard to believe that a day like this would ever dawn in his life time, but now Steiner sat in awe, not in appreciation but in horror, of the events transpiring globally: Families being uprooted, innocents being caught in the crossfire, and people soldiers laying their lives on the line for purposes much grander than their minds could comprehend.
Such was the nature of war. It was a game played by kings and queens sitting above the impoverished and malnourished common folk struggling to make it through a day without the weight of the sins committed by those same "leaders" crushing them. As much as he tried to blame the demons, the monsters in Shadow Fall, this wasn't something could casually or callously point a finger at. All sides were to blame. Every single fucking side playing their hands at the same time to a violent crescendo that crashed down on every single person just looking to live.
To just be.
He found it a hard pill to swallow, in an era now being driven by egomaniacs the will of the common man was being snuffed out for "pride". War for war's sake, war for change, war for prosperity. Another mouth full of shit spewed from media outlets to justify the means to an end. Mana was a monster, was Hayden any better? He had not seen eye to eye with the King of Vastime's methods, but he had at least seemed to look up at him as a figurehead. Someone who got the job done even if it meant bloodying his hands. He wasn't perfect and neither was anyone else. Yet, if you really thought about it...was he any different than the monsters they were fighting right now to "protect" the people of this world?
He was finding it harder with each and every new's report, sleep was coming harder, and the feeling of tenseness that crept up his spine a clear indicator of the feelings that were swirling inside of him:
All of these emotions caused the young man to groan as he sat in his tent and watched the world go to hell. Inactive due to his weakness, his unwillingness to act as he watched this hell spread, and spread to the ends of the world as his consciousness screamed for him to do something. To be a hero. To do what he always talked about: putting his life on the line for the greater good. But what good could come from all this? What the fuck would be left after the raging titans smashed the very world into dust? How many graves needed to be dug, how many widows needed to lament in silence, and just how many loved ones would have to disappear before this all was said and done? He couldn't comprehend the numbers, he couldn't function, but most importantly he couldn't act.
Just how could he help in "this"? He was a gnat compared to the mega powers throwing around their weight like they were the fat guy at a buffet looking to eat the last piece of chicken. He hadn't trained for this. He hadn't trained for war. And that frightened him. He had thought he had resolved himself, prepared himself for the prospect of this eventually happening, but a mere mortal could never just be ready for war. A mere man could never just, well, could never just see what he saw, and just go about his normal routine. Especially if that normal routine meant flying into the mouth of hell and dealing with what the world was dealing with right now.
Was he scared?
He tightened his fist on his knee, the television in front of him playing the recent news, and showing the devastation in every way possible. He supposed it was fear, it was a feeling he had never truly felt before when he was doing small time heroics to protect basic people doing basic things, but right now this was above him. This would require a level of heroics he just didn't have in him. It made him afraid, but it also made him angry. He felt...inadequate. Like he had talked the big talk, spread his philosophy, and told people he would take the big risks no matter what, but now he was just sitting at home watching it on television.
It was surreal. No, it was irritating. He was furious deep down and most of that anger was completely directed at him, entirely focused on the type of person he was being right now, and on his own weakness. He could be angry that Mana attacked Karakura, but it was his weakness that made him angry the most. He should have been there after all. His tattered Vanguard jacket lay beside him, the Second Sword emblem etched into the back had meaning to him, or at least it had so long ago. It felt so long ago that he had put it on and had felt pride. So much pride had lead him to this point and now look what it had got him? A upper bowl ticket to the apocalypse.
Standing up for the first time in a long time, Steiner marched himself out of his tent to look across the vast plains around him, and appreciate nature at its basic level. There was a peacefulness here that he had tried to use to help him think and help him train, but no matter how much he pushed himself there was only so much he could do alone. Only so much he could get done by practicing form and stance alone, only so much he could shadowboxing, or shadow fencing. Meanwhile the world burned and he watched, like some kind of sick voyeur.
Should he get involved? Could he get involved? Questions and doubts plagued him for maybe the first time in his life and the knee jerk reactions that he was well known for when it came to heroics were simply not there. Instead, he stared across his empty plain, and wallowed in his inaction and sorrow. Emphatically feeling the noose tighten on a world that was slowly being engulfed by flame.
"What did I really prepare for?"
His voice sounded dry. In truth he had not spoken in several months, his solitude had not been disturbed, and his distance had been maintained. What had once started as a training excursion had turned into this. And now he had no idea what he should do.
Coding Altered From: [THEFROST]'s
- Steiner FranzEstablished Member
- Joined : 2015-11-26
Posts : 496
Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:24 pm
So he decided to wander about. Aimlessly, as aimlessly as he felt as of right now, wandering without purpose, without cause.
Months of training in isolation, honing his swordplay, tightening his skills, and all it had amounted to was his current level of doubt. Of concern. The world was filled with strong people, far stronger people than he, but yet he had kept training because he had felt at some point or another he would have made a dent. That he would have been able to make a difference if the ball that was the Earth ever decided to roll closer to a perilous fall off the edge of calamity. Yet, he had watched it on television. He had not lifted a finger as the madness spread and the mayhem escalated.
It hurt him, if that was to matter in this particular situation, it pained him to watch such things from such a far distance, and to not even lift a finger in like wise. But what was he to do? Go be eaten by some monster or detonated by a stray blast meant for a more influential or more powerful being?
What could one man hope to accomplish in this situation?
World ending powers smashing each other and leveling cities as a mere afterthought. What was he to do? Swing his sword at them and hope they didn't just end him before he got a hit in?
He stopped himself near what looked like a tumultuous cliff near his encampment. It overlooked a vast sea of green and an almost endless sea of stars up above him painting what looked like a beautiful tapestry as they lit up the night's sky. He looked across that ocean, thinking of all the things that were going on in the world, and thinking deeply on just what he should do.
Fighting was an option, after all he had trained for years to fight, but just what would fighting get him? Who could he protect with the meager amount of power circulating through him? He had read reports, studied dossiers, and watched tape. The truth of what would happen if he got involved, if he lifted his sword, and fought was all he had inside of him: his heart, his soul, and his body was that he would simply endanger everyone he was trying to protect.
He slammed his fist into the nearby rock formation, shattering it into bits of debris, and sighed as the sound of the rubble hitting the water broke the silence of the night around him.
That is how he felt at that very moment. A war was going on, people were dying, and god like powers were playing an intricate game of chess on a global scale and he felt sick to the stomach at his own powerlessness. Meanwhile, the body count rose. Not just the body count of the soldiers fighting on the front lines, heroes who would be remembered for fighting the good fight, but the innocent people who would get caught in the cross hairs of the sickening war that was consuming everything like a wild fire.
At one time, Steiner wouldn't have hesitated, and he would have ran in to that fire swords swinging. He would have risked it all just for one life, just for one person to walk out, and be just fine, but now? Now doubt was hitting him, the feeling of worthlessness overpowering the very core of his identity, and causing him to second guess what he should do or how he should go about doing it.
"Damn...why am I hesitating? People are dying...get your shit together Stein!"
He spoke to no one, but himself through gritted teeth as he balled his fists up, and continued to look out over the sea of stars before him. In the distance he could swear he could see the fires of burning cities, and perhaps if he listened enough he could perhaps hear the wails of people making their last push until their candle was put out. Life being snuffed out. A shiver ran up his spine, but not of fear, it was of anger.
He took a deep breath and then swallowed it all.
All of his despair, all of his fear, and all of his dread were swallowed in almost a millisecond. The sound of silence became thick as Steiner closed his eyes and focused on the sound of the breeze, the sound of waves breaking against the shore, and the beating of his own heart.
All of this could be gone.
The beauties and splendors of the natural world erased, his life snuffed out, and the whole of humanity would just be gone. That is, if all hands weren't on deck. If everyone wasn't willing to chip in, if all of the people who walked this Earth, and were looking to defend the Earth and its people didn't do something....then everything would be gone. Mana would win, humans would die, and chaos would rule.
Could he really just stay on an island and contemplate his own weakness while all of this shit was going on?
He was weak, he was an ant compared to the elephants in the room, but even an ant could help. Even an ant could lift a piece of dirt to help build something wondrous. So what if he got cut down? If he got cut down then maybe someone would get away? Maybe someone would live because he was willing to do the deed. To put his life on the line. To do what heroes did.
"No more doubts...lets get to fucking work."
Steiner walked away from the cliff and with it, abandoned his doubts, and his fears. For in a heroes line of work, those things had just had no place.
Coding Altered From: [THEFROST]'s
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