Collection: Submissions/Ages of Youth/the Halleaux - Guest Chronicle by Daniel
Chapter 1: Ren: The Genesis
“What, Marius, is that?” asked Petra. She stood at the entrance to the compound. Her black and white coat stood out against the rocky landscape that surrounded them. Her dark brown hair contrasted with her lightly tanned skin. “Can we go inside Petra, you know I don’t like waiting around on the surface” Said Marius. Marius was dressed the same as usual. The button down shirt, the black vest, paired with black slacks and those ugly brown gloves.
“We will stay here as long as it takes to figure out what we are going to do about that” exclaimed Petra.
“The that to which you are referring has a name, Petra” Said Marius “And what might its name be?” She shouted.
“Ren, my name is Ren” Said a voice “Also, are you aware that it is considered rude to address someone as it or that?” Ren stood next to Marius; he had been there the whole time and had been listening to this entire conversation. He also did not take kindly to being ignored. His armor glinted in the light of the sunset. It was blood red and accented with black. His helmet was tucked under his arm. His hair was long and black and his skin was dark from days in the sun. He was also armed quite heavily. He wore a handgun on each side and a rifle slung across his back, a long fixed-blade knife was strapped to his leg, and those were only the weapons Petra could see.
“So what’s the story this time, Marius?” Said Petra irritably, “a stranded traveler, or an escaped prisoner, or even better a-” Marius cut her off “He saved my life, Petra”
“Ah, well that changes the situation considerably now doesn’t it?” said Petra, clearly taken aback.
“Yes, I believe it does” said Marius, “You see, I was scouting the enemy camp as you ordered me to and was ambushed by a patrol. Ren dropped out of a tree, and knocked them out with the butt of his rifle”
“There’s no way he knocked out that entire patrol, there are too many”
Petra heard one of the most oddest noises ever, which turned out to be Ren laughing. His laughing was so infectious even Petra smiled. She didn’t think someone so serious could make such a noise.Then Ren swung his rifle off his back with blinding speed smashed the stock against a nearby boulder. At first Petra didn’t see anything but then she noticed a crack in the boulder. Towards the center of the fissure there was a round indentation.
“How did you do that?” asked Petra, amazed. Ren smiled at her and put his helmet on. “That’s for me to know and you not to, Milady” Said Ren “Shall we, Marius?” “Aye, we shall” Marius said with a grin. With that the two friends strolled past Petra and into the base. “Wait, you can’t just go in there without my permission, stop, come back here” Petra yelled.
Ren stopped and turned around “With all due respect Milady, I’ve walked the last 10 miles and stood around listening to you gripe forever and a day, I'd like to get off my feet and that is precisely what I intend to do.” Petra stood there, shocked. No one had ever spoken to her that way before, especially a potential recruit. The oddest thing was if anyone else had spoken to her like that she would have shot them. But when Ren had done so, he had done it in a way that told her it wasn’t a statement, it was an order. It also told her that he was someone who was used to having their orders followed. Normally Petra would have been livid, but he had given her orders in a voice that made her want to obey. His very tone of voice compelled her to say “Yes, Sir”. His tone had said more than his words: he had given his orders and you would be unwise to disobey them or even disagree with them. There was no argument, he was in charge, what he said went. And that made him dangerous.
Chapter 2: Files, Files Everywhere, but Nothing Good to Read
Petra walked through the front doors and into the entrance hall. “At ease” she said to the guards at either side of the door who stood and saluted as she approached. She walked past the guards and into the central chamber and turned right and walked into a side corridor. She walked down the intricate maze of chambers, vaults, and corridors that she knew so well. She stopped next to a silver door that looked just like the others in the corridor. To the outsider it would have appeared nothing special, but Petra knew different. She pressed her thumb onto a scanner concealed in the wall and a card reader popped out of the door. She slid her keycard through the slot and the door slid sideways with a slight hiss. She entered a room about the size of an office with computers from floor to ceiling. She flopped down in one of the chairs and slid over to one of the monitors.
“Good day, Ma’am” Said the computer in its metallic voice. The monitors turned on flooding the room with light.
“Computer, initiate search” She ordered.
“Input search subject” It said calmly.
“Search subject: Ren, spelled r-e-n” she articulated.
“Search complete, six hundred thirty-eight results found” the computer replied.
“Oh, great. Computer, filter search to public records and images.
“Search complete, one hundred five results found”
Wonderful Petra thought to herself. How am I supposed to find someone who I know nothing about? But wait, she did know something about him, or at least his personality.
“Ha, I’ve got it. Computer, search military enlistment, promotion, and retirement records” She exclaimed
“Search complete, five results found” Said the computer in its usual monotonous voice.
“Read the first result”She said excitedly, she thought to herself “It's not much, but it’s a start.
“Enlistment record for Michael Ren into Javert’s army, date unknown” The computer’s voice said.
“Result two, then if you please” Said Petra
“Order of promotion to Michael Ren, date unknown”
“Result three” She said.
“Order of promotion to Michael Ren, date unknown”
“Result four?” Petra asked.
“Letter of recommendation from Javert’s second in command to Javert regarding Michael Ren receiving the medal of valor, the mural crown, and the purple heart” Said the metallic voice.
“And the fifth?” She asked
“A certificate of death for Michael Ren, date unknown, cause of death: grenade explosion” Replied the faithful computer.
“Any pictures?” asked Petra
“One picture found, opening now”
On the monitor appeared a black and white picture of six men dressed in military camouflage and in the middle of the front row sat Ren. He was younger, his skin was lighter, his hair was shorter, but it was definitely him. Judging by the look on his face, the photographer had caught him mid-laugh. He looked like he was having the time of his life without a care in the world. Petra wondered what could have happened to turn him into the serious, brooding, dark, and cruel-looking person she had met earlier. For some reason, looking at the picture made her feel sad, almost as if she could see tragedy about to happen to those happy young men immortalized in this photograph.
“Sad, isn’t it” said a voice from behind. Petra jumped, startled, she hadn’t heard the door open. She turned and there stood Ren.
“How did you get in here” she asked angrily
“Come now, a man can’t spend three years in the service and not learn how to pick a lock” He said. He almost looked amused, a halfway smile played upon his lips, life and mischief glinted in his eye. He looked remarkably like he did in the photo.
“The day after that picture was taken, my squad went into combat. We were running in a tight group and an I.E.D went off and killed them all and knocked me out. When I came to, there was a man sitting next to me. He told me that my place was not in the army, or at least Javert’s army, he told me that I was destined for a greatness that I would never achieve where I was and that the explosion was Javert’s fault. So I gathered my things and left. And since then I have been waiting, biding my time to strike back at Javert. So far I have only been a minor inconvenience to him, but now I am ready to strike with a fury known only to the spirits of hell. I no longer care whether or not I live or die, only that Javert’s death comes from the actions that I take directly. However, I do wish that you keep my identity a secret to the best of your abilities” He explained.
“Why have you told me these things” she asked. His expression changed and he looked more like the man she had met a few hours ago.
“I knew that it was only a matter of time before you figures out who I am, or rather who I was, so I told you this with the hope that you might trust me enough to not tell the other troops” He said “The fact that I served as a soldier in the army of your enemy would do me no favors and would possibly make my life even harder, which is something that I do not need at this point in time. I would be happy to be treated as any other recruit would be, with a few exceptions”
“Like” she asked
“I will make you a list of various items that I will require, and in return I can give you any information that you require about Javert’s plans, bases, troop movements, strengths and/or weaknesses” He replied
“Fine” She agreed “but you will be expected to toe the line just like the other recruits”
“Deal” He said, and that was final.
Blurbs & Blogs
Chroniclers will post their stories, opinions, and silliness.