|Greet The Brand New Day|
|Participants||Iris, Sigma (Original), Sting Chameleon|
|IC Date:||05 November 2205|
|RL Date:||17 April 2012|
|Story Arc||...Must Come To An End|
Sting Chameleon sat alone in his quarters, reviewing his logs carefully while he waited for the replacement armor from last night's excitement to settle. He found himself doing this quite a bit lately, but in light of the infiltration last night, certain events were especially fresh on his mind. Or they would be, in only a moment.
"Access memory recordings. Date: November 5, 2205."
- * *
His eyesight flickered with static as the databank entry superimposed itself over his present field of vision. Sting had checked this room out no less than sixteen times before settling in for the evening. He would not be interrupted today. He'd even filed his reports in advance, to keep from being bothered. It would only better a matter of them being cleared by intelligence. For now, his thoughts returned to the past.
The world changed. He was back in one of many reinforced bunker-transports manufactured by the early Repliforce to take ground during the first years of the war with Wily. Near prototypes for the Dinosaur Tank, but that was a thought for another time. For now, war had ended, as it would for some time--a fleeting reprieve, now that he gave it some thought--but a reprieve nonetheless. The location had been chosen by Sting himself, because what was one of these machines during peacetime? A derelict, eventually destined for repurposing. No one would bother it. No one would interrupt them. No one would *find* them. They were AWOL, after all. Their hunt for Iris has taken much more time than the UN would allow them.
Around him sat the original eight and their leader: Repliforce's 17th Unit, or more colloquially, the Mavericks. They were surprisingly quiet, keeping their conversations to hush murmurs as they waited for the tenth. It was a remarkable thing in itself, to hear the likes of Spark Mandrill, Chill Penguin, and Launch Octopus stay quiet for more than ten minutes at a time. But this was important. Perhaps the most important decision they'd ever make. Sigma, as was his way, was the first to speak up.
"As much as it pains me to say, my father is right. Things can't go on like this. The war is over. There's no reason for command to continue this. It's inhumane."
Sigma spoke with passion, commitment. He was eloquent, but genuine. This was not the Sigma who was little more than a cackling madman in the days of Maverick Europe.
"Wily is defeated and we have more than enough forces if he somehow returns. Mass production of reploids needs to be regulated. We're becoming disposable. What will this new generation of reploids do when there's no war to fight?"
Sigma's brow furrowed. His voice balancing out a little from the rising tide it was a moment ago, before cresting once more.
What will we fight for? Or is our fate to be placed in stasis until the next time the humans need a war fought? The battles weve fought were for them. When do we fight for ourselves?
The rest of the room stayed quiet. The sober expressions still managed to say much. Chill Penguin was the first to speak again.
Kinda like they were willing to make us wait to go find Iris. What good was tasking us to find her when shes nothing more than a fighting robot in a world without a war to fight...
"Chill, please. There's enough to think about as it is." Storm Eagle. Always the voice of reason, the moderator. He turned his attention back toward Sigma. "Commander, what do you think we should do? Can we really attack the UN just to validate our cause? Is that we've really been fighting for? What would we target?"
Sigma rested his face in his palm. "I don't know, Storm Eagle. I wish I could say something more. If I knew what to do, I would surely tell you all. I've lead you this far, against the worst Dr. Wily had to offer, but this--" Sigma paused for a long while. Sting had forgotten precisely how long. "This is an entirely different animal. We're soldiers. Not freedom fighters."
Her voice was high and feminine, contrasting with Armored Armadillo's huskier tone. The tenth had arrived. Sting shuffled in his corner, half sitting on the wall with his particular talents. He finally spoke up this time, because the suggestion puzzled him.
"Sydney?" Sting could only recall it in the interrogative. It had been a safe haven during the Wily Wars, practically untouched by the conflict. There was nothing of military value there. It had been spared even sporadic Robot Master raiding parties. They would be striking a practically undefended city with overwhelming force. Their victory would be assured, but yet...
"Yes, Sydney," Iris said. "It will offer us practically no organized resistance. We will demonstrate our military superiority in a resounding manner. The weakness of the defense will magnify our strength in the eyes of the people. It will bring them to the bargaining table without a longer, bloodier conflict. It will be an infamous day. You do remember what today is?"
"Remember, remember, the fifth of November." Sting said. It was enough.
"Gunpowder treason and plot," Iris said. "I see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot. We must be terrible. We must be dreadful. Unless we present overwhelming strength, our cause will be ignored."
The words coming out of her mouth did not match her soft, kind face, but her eyes reflected her terrible conviction. What could have led her to this dire conclusion? Her tone reflected no anger, no hatred, but only grim resignation to what seemed to her an inevitable necessity.
"The optimal time to begin the assault would be during the Secretary-General's speech on Global Liberation Day," she said. "The world will be tuned in to watch. All of them will see what we do. They will see our power, and they will yield rather than face it a second time. It will be better this way."
Iris looked down into the table. "We do this once. Once, and we end the war before it starts."
Sigma looked at Iris for a long, hard moment. Part of it was judgmental. There was a reluctance in his optics. The idea of striking out against the people of the world for the actions of those in charge was despicable to him. Yet, there was a hint of sympathy. He knew what Iris said made perfect tactical sense. The fact that it was Iris who said it gave it added weight.
"Global Liberation Day," Sting mused. "How appropriate."
The feed ended as swiftly as it began. Sting sat in cold contemplation for what felt like an eternity. The truth had to come out, he thought, it was going to no matter what he did. Despite the lies the world was filled with, the truth always managed to surface, and if it didn't, people created their own truths. Twenty years of war had taught him this. Work in intelligence had beaten it into him more rigorously than any teacher had the right to.
Sting extracted the file from his memory and logged into Saraband. He set up the proper encryptions to hide its exit, but not well enough. He wasn't trying to bury it so no one would find it. No. The truth had to come out.
Finally, the truth would come out.
Sting uploaded the file onto the Saraband. Within an hour, it would start appearing all over the world. He could have it no other way.
- Dear Prudence by the Beatles