Well, it has once more been a while since I published something. Sorry about that guys, life has been a little more turbulent than I thought it was going to be, but, things should be calming down now, so I should be able to post some more in the future once a regular schedule sets in... maybe... We will see how things work out.
We are going to change it up this time, though, because I like to write creatively from time to time, and I wanted to bring you a short story I wrote in the Infinity universe giving you a little more insight on who Envihon is and his duty to Haqqislam.
So, without further delay, I bring to you. "Broken Innocence":
***The text that follows is the personal accounts of Hassassin Envihon within his service in the Sword of Allah, Haqqislamite Armed Forces. The information is deemed classified and any public distribution of these documents would yield a severe penalty. Use of these documents must be cleared with the Hassassin Society. This report was taken from Envihon on his reasons for joining the Hassassin Society as inspiration for new recruits.***
We all have our defining moments. Those things that will go on to shape who we are. Mine can be summed up with a single word: Terrorism.
I was only a child when I learned that the Human Sphere isn't what it seems, and the image that O-12 likes to paint for us is just something they cook up to keep mass panic down. It isn't even the aliens you have to worry about, but the shadow war that engulfs the Human Sphere. We like to make it seem like the Combined Army is our biggest threat but one just has to look back at human history to see that we do a good enough job of wiping ourselves out. Humans need things like the Hassassin Society to keep our darkness at bay, to save us from our selfishness.
I'm sorry, I know what this must sound like. I try not to be this pessimistic, but, when I think about this event in my childhood, I go to a dark place. One doesn't live through something like this and come out thinking that the galaxy is unicorns and rainbows. It leaves a scar, and no matter how much I talk about it, or get help for it, the scar is still there. It's a constant reminder of why I do what I do. Why I chose to go beyond just my service to the Sword of Allah, why I became a shadow guardian to humanity. It was this event that would light my path to become a part of the Hassassin Society. We must stand against the darkness, we must be the light, so that humanity can stand once again in a golden age. This incident didn't bring me down, it merely knocked me down. I stood back up, emboldened to become a protector of humanity. To protect the Search for Knowledge is the most noble pursuit a Haqqislamite can undertake.
Now, I am getting ahead of myself again. Apologies. If you look into my record, you will see that I am of American descent. My family was a part of the American refugees from NASA when Haqqislam petitioned them to help find what we now know as Bourak and then to help Haqqislam get off Earth to settle there. Now my family are loyal and grateful citizens of Haqqislam. With what they did for American refugees after the collapse of the United States, how couldn't we be? Everyone was just trying to feed off the carcass of the U.S. and the Haqqislamite government were the only ones to extend a helping hand.
Though, this wasn't enough for them to convert to Islam, we had friends that did it but my family held onto the traditions they had from America. This is the reason why I am the only Muslim in my family. The reason why I eventually converted to Haqqislam lies in what happened on Acontecimento which is the real subject of this report.
My father is a Planetologist for the Bourak Academy of Planetology and he is extremely passionate about it. This is why he planned a vacation for us and another American family, that we were close friends with, to Acontecimento. If only I could express in words how much my father marveled Acontecimento. Even though it was a PanOceanian planet, you could not understand how important this trip was to him. He loves knowledge and the chance to visit the great jungle planet to understand it more was something my father could not resist. It took some convincing, but my mother finally gave in as long as my father made it an actual vacation and not just about my father's work. Something easier said than done for my father, but he reluctantly agreed to the terms.
In the wake of the Commercial Conflicts, though, and since technically, my father would be on official business, our plans were slightly altered. The Bureau of International Relations on Bourak contacted Qapu Khalqi and had two Janissary bodyguards assigned to my family. We all thought that they were overkill, but there was no way for us to refuse, the Human Sphere was on an the edge of a knife even back then and the government did not want to risk it.
As we boarded the space elevator, Janissary Haluk and Janissary Sila flanked us; ever vigilant even though we hadn't even left Bourak. I marveled at them back then, their gleaming green power armor shining in the Bourak sun as we rode the elevator to the space docks. No cubes to speak of, willing to die for my family, for Haqqislam. To a child like me, they were awe inspiring. Many of them weren't even Haqqislamite... being either Delivered or Donated... it let a dhimmi like myself dream of being like them, but I knew my parents would never give me up to be the Donated. Too much pride in our American traditions. So I sat there staring at them. Sila noticed my gaze and she gave me a reassuring nod before resuming her vigilance.
There isn't much to say about the trip to Acontecimento. We took in many of the amenities that my father's position allowed and it was an uneventful journey. Our body guards even opened up a little. Haluk, we found out, was one of the Orphaned, his parents had died in the Silk Revolts. He wouldn't go into details but he mentioned that they were a part of the Sekban volunteers before they had been reformed into the elite unit they are now. It was only fitting that he served as well. Sila was a Donated American refugee and chose the assignment when their command asked for volunteers. She may have fully converted to Haqqislam but she liked the thought of protecting fellow American descendants. Her family wasn't as well off as ours when they sought asylum with Haqqislam, so this was one way for her family to show their loyalty, as well as her chance at a better life. My family was more than delighted to have her protecting us, myself especially. I almost felt that I was a burden to her with how much I hung around her. If I was, she never let on, indeed, I felt that she almost encouraged me.
When I wasn't acting like Sila's shadow, I spent time with my friend, Alex, who was the son of the other family we were traveling with. Like most ethnic groups, we were from the same neighborhood on Bourak, and our families had been friends for quite a while, so my father asked them if they wanted to join us on our venture, since it would give my mother something to do while my father was on official business. They weren't with the government so they didn't have any bodyguards like we did, but my father was able to at least get them a room at the embassy with us. Alex and I were quite excited for the prospect of an adventure to a foreign world since this would be our first time off world. For the first decade of our lives, we only knew Bourak, despite our fathers’ careers taking them off world many times.
I won't bore you with the details of our trip to Acontecimento. Now that I travel quite frequently, I know it was a fairly mundane transit even if it was the most exciting thing to happen to me at the time. Things didn't get strange until we arrived at the planet when I remember my father talking of heightened security measures for PanOceania and its only in hindsight that I really ever took notice of it. On our arrival to the planet's surface, we were picked up by official vehicles and taken to the Haqqislam Embassy on Acontecimento. Every so often when PanOceania finally decided to humble themselves, they like to collaborate with Haqqislamite universities on studying the ecology of Acontecimento, an opportunity that neither my father nor Haqqislam would take for granted.
Luckily though, my father booked our arrival for a weekend so that he could at least spend a couple of days with his family on the vacation part of our trip before starting his work during the week. Despite what happened, I remember that weekend quite fondly. Acontecimento was certainly a beautiful planet from their great forests to the blue oceans. We never saw the great agricultural expanses or the vast industrial complexes that were on the planet in our time there, only the touristy beautiful places that you would see on a travel vid. It was still stunning, I can see why there are groups dedicated to preserving the forests of Acontecimento. That weekend was wonderful, a false pretense to an event that would shatter my world and send me on a journey I could never have expected.
The week began with my father departing to do his work while we, along with Alex's family, had a day in the city planned. It was a sunny calm day as we went to a local park to have breakfast before we set out for the day’s activities. Our Janissary body guards were close by but they were no longer wearing their power armor since we were on foreign soil during an already tense time. Instead they wore concealed body armor and weapons. Vigilant as they had always been, I don't even think they were ready for what happened that morning.
I remember that Alex and I were running around the park and he had run near the park entrance across from the bakery where we had purchased our breakfast when a series of loud booms went off that made us all freeze. Then there was smoke in the street, people were screaming and chaos was erupting. Our parents were shouting for us when another series of blasts went off. I looked towards Alex only to see him swallowed in smoke from the next blast. The concussive force knocked me to the ground as debris from the blast hit me. I remember the ringing in my ears as I lay there on the ground. Disoriented, I started to move and I propped myself up on one arm to see what seemed like a shadow moving in the smoke towards me. I could make it out that it looked like a person, but I couldn't make out a distinct figure. The world was spinning and my ears were still ringing from the blast as the figure in thermo-optic camouflage crept closer.
I was looking around for my parents, for Alex, for the Janissary but I kept going back to that figure that was even closer now fixated on me. I felt the fear well up in me as I tried to get up, but my limbs just wouldn't function correctly. I desperately tried to get to my feet but before I could I was knocked down again by a swift kick to my back. I hit the ground hard, bruising my arm. I managed to turn around to see the figure standing over me. I could see it better now that it was closer as the light bent around the figure to make it almost completely invisible. It tilted its head before I heard the sound of it unsheathing its blade. It raised it up as if to strike, but before it could, I heard another blast from behind me.
It was from a shotgun, specifically from Sila's shotgun. She had come looking for me as Haluk secured our parents in a safe location. The blast hit the figure and knocked it to the ground. The force of the blast and impact from the BBs disrupted the TO camo of what I now know as a ninja, Yu Jing operatives that aren't supposed to even exist, or so the Yu Jing government would say. The ninja was badly injured, but not dead as Sila walked over to it, face twisted in anger. She picked the ninja up by the neck and I distinctly remember her yelling into the face of the operative "You would dare harm an innocent child?!"
My ear piece translator brought me the ninja’s simply reply: "Anything for the Emperor.” Sila threw the operative back to the ground before ending the life of the ninja with a final fatal blast from her shotgun.
She turned to me "Come Envihon, time to get you out of here, and back to your parents." She came and scooped me up in her arms, and carried me to where Haluk waited. It was a small alcove near the park untouched by the blasts. Haluk was on look out as PanOceanian Emergency Response teams were descending on the scene. I even got to see the Montessa Knights deploy to take control of the scene helping with evacuation as well as provide security for any lingering Yu Jing terrorists. Sila and I had barely arrived before our Haqqislamite state vehicles arrived to usher us back to the embassy. My mom held me tight as Alex's parents begged and pleaded with them to go look for Alex but we no longer could interfere now that PanOceanian forces had arrived. All we could do was go back to the embassy and wait to hear anything about Alex.
Except we would never hear anything about Alex. He was assumed to have died in the blasts. We were put on an express ship back to Bourak in the wake of the tragedy before we could find anything out. His parents were devastated. We eventually had a memorial service without a body to bury. I had lost my childhood friend to a shadow war I never knew anything about, nor asked to be a part of. We lost touch with Alex's family afterwards, they were destroyed by the loss of their son and eventually moved away to start a new life without the reminders of their late son.
Later through my military service, I would learn from Haqqislam intelligence that the attack was perpetrated by Yu Jing's Imperial Secret Service in retaliation to the ongoing aggressions between Yu Jing and PanOceania. We had been innocent bystanders caught between their rivalry, and paid the price for something we had nothing to do with. It was this incident that would spark a fire in me, that would build a resentment for Yu Jing's disregard for humanity in its pursuit for power. It would be this incident that would eventually make me break my family's traditions and become one of the Donated. I know my brother would especially resent me for it, but the rest of my family understood why I did it. My father was the most accepting, knowing exactly the reasons why I decided to serve. Sila's act of heroism convinced me that I didn't only want to serve a nation that had given my family so much, but I also wanted to protect humanity from those who would do harm to the innocent.
It was during my service as a Janissary, that I learned that Alex had survived that day, but not in a way I could ever imagine. That is a tale for another day...
***Audio file recovered from Aconciemento Incident. Conversation between two Montessa Knights combing through the rubble***
"Father Knight! You should come see this, I found something!"
"Oh my... good work my son. God clearly has smiled upon this child! I wonder where his parents are..."
So I hoped you guys enjoyed that and if you liked it, I will certainly do more. With that though, just one more addendum to add to this....
In a caravansary near the planet Dawn, a Caledonian intelligence officer meets with a shadowy figure wearing a face shield and hood in a private room in the many secret spaces found within the Haqqislamite space station.
"Always so secretive, can't even show your face in a private room. How am I suppose to trust someone when I can't even see their face?"
A muffled chuckled comes from the Hassassin operative. "It is through these means that the Hassassin Society is able to perform the services it provides, like the one we have done for you."
"Ha! And what have you done for Caledonia or Ariadna for that matter? We don't take part in your secretive services" the intelligence officer snidely said.
"Don't you?" the Hassasssin replies as he pushes forward a holo-vid depicting the death of the MagnaObra CEO, the corporation who was ultimately responsible for the slaughter of innocent civilians at the hands of the Druze and Scarface, the mercenaries MagnaObra hired to destabilize Caledonia and break up the Ariadna Federation.
The Caledonian lets out an impatient sigh "Yeah, the bitch had it coming, we could have done it ourselves if we wanted."
"Could you now? You may have been able to find out that the Druze were only proxy soldiers and MagnaObra a willing puppet of the PanOceania but could you have gotten close to her to do the job? You have the tools and training to be everywhere and nowhere like we can? I have heard that Caledonia is boastful, but I didn't expect this level of cockiness."
Now the Caledonian was losing his patience "What do you want then? I thought this was just what you people did to protect humanity or whatever you say you do, why come to me about this?”
"Yes, that is why we do this but we can't do it without the support of other nations" the Hassassin replied smoothly and calmly.
"What the fuck do you want then?! Money... resources, Teaseum? What are you playing at?" yelled the Caledonian, his temper on the edge of control.
"We want nothing so crass, and calm down, my friend. We just want to know that Caledonia will be there to help when Haqqislam calls for aid."
The Caledonian stared at the Hassassin agent, his temper cooling a bit at his response. He breathed deep before answering the agent "Ah, so that's your game, politics... I see, well, I will take this and show the Clans... I can't guarantee all of their support, some may even take this as an insult, but I will see what I can do... we do appreciate this, it won't bring back those lives but... at least those bastards see that they aren't untouchable... We'll help yah stick it to those Hyperpower pricks."
That is my announcement that I have taken up the mantle of Caledonia. That's right, I finally break my one faction loyalty to finally start something that isn't Haqqislam. Haqqislam still will be my main focus but I may have from time to time insight on this Ariadnan Sectorial that I have looked at for some time, and thought about starting. It's something to break up and give me something different, plus I have always loved the Dog Faces and Wulvers, and need an outlet for that. Don't worry, this is just an Alliance. My loyalty is first and foremost to Haqqislam. I am the Sword of Haqqislam, after all.
If you enjoyed this, let me know and I will see what I can do about more short stories. If you want me to continue to do just things game related and historical context for units, tell me that to. I live to serve you, my audience. Until next time, my friend, continue to seek knowledge.