Like before, this is the rough draft, so I haven’t edited anything on it. It’s just the rough idea onto the page.
…The bullets struck her armor, causing her to stagger, flattening out as they pierced it and then tore into the soft flesh underneath. Hooks, created by the hollow points, ripped through muscles and internal organs before losing their momentum and then coming to a stop.
Pain raced up her spine, leaving a trail of fire behind as she gritted her teeth and then kept running forwards. A second, then a third and then a fourth bullet blasted her body, further wiping away muscle, tendons, arteries and organs. Blood flooded her mouth as she fell to her knees, clutching at her ruined chest as more rounds ripped her apart. Behind her, battle rifles continued to roar, and bullets whizzed past her as they targeted the biomechanical monstrosities approaching.
Her knees struck the floor hard enough to dent it, slamming her teeth together hard enough that her tongue went searching for pieces.
Talia clutched her arms to her chest as if she was trying to hold her life itself inside her, before throwing her head back and screamed loud enough to make everyone wince at it and each echo that bounced back to them.
“No!” She cried out before falling forwards to end up on her hands and knees.
Tears streamed down her face, only to drop on the dusty, concrete floor as sobs racked her whole body. The others formed a protective circle as they watched the scene before them. No one knew what action to take; in fact, they were afraid to make a move and perhaps make things worse.
Talia clutched her chest as memories rushed past with the force of a ravaging avalanche. Dannae being struck by a mortar shell, the explosive blowing her body apart, sending limbs flying in different directions. Methos and Crios screaming Talia’s name as she fell. An deafening roar as the escape transports exited the underground space ports, as they raced for space. Red flashes in the sky as the last of Talia’s battlefleet fought the Dragus, sacrificing themselves to give the transports a chance to escape. The rainbow colors of ships entering h-space was the last thing she saw before falling onto her face, blood pouring from the corner of her mouth.
Movement in the corner of vision caught Talia’s attention and she looked to her right before raising an eyebrow in curiosity. Four strange people stood around her, each of them staring at her as if she had three heads, arms folded across their chests. Talia looked at them for several long seconds before turned her head and, for the first time, noticed where she was.
“Central Command?” She whispered before standing up and turning in a circle. “How did I get here? I died on the street…oh, shit…”
One of them, a man who she guessed to be around three to four hundred years old took a step forward. “Kate,” he said, “are you ok?”
“Who is ‘Kate?’” Talia said. “I don’t know who that is.”
Talia, a voice that sounded familiar spoke in her head. You’re awake.
Tavork? Where am I?
I’m happy you returned. It’s been a long time.
Huh? What are you talking about?
You’re alive again.
I can see that! What am I doing here? Why am I here? Didn’t I die? Where are the rest of our people?
They’re gone and you’ve been asleep a long time.
Talia furrowed her eyebrows for a moment. A long time? How long?
Very long, Tavork said.
You’re not answering my question! How long?
One hundred and six thousand years, Tavork said.
That long! Talia covered her face with her hands as the enormity of the situation washed over her.
Everyone around her didn’t exist in Talia’s world as she strode past them and down the walkway towards the blackened viewscreens. She stopped shot of the end and then reached down to touch a work station before closing her eyes. A dusty, dead area came to life in her mind’s eye and she pictured the Corporal who’d manned that station. A young girl, barely over two hundred years, with flame red hair and a freckled face, had relayed Talia’s orders to the orbiting fleet.
What was her name? Talia thought. Julianna? Damn, I can’t remember.
The room burst into life around her, the viewscreens lit up the room as images of Dragus ships approached the planet. Scores of smaller ships flooded outwards from the motherships and then started to approach the planet. The invasion craft raced downwards towards Gahlza. All Talia could do was watch as her remaining naval forces, thirty battlecruisers and their escorts, moved to attack. It wouldn’t stop them from destroying the planet, but it would give time for Project Genesis to work.
She turned slowly in a circle, eyes trailing over all the terminals and the ghosts sitting at them. The ones who gave her everything they had until she released them from their duties. Now they were all gone, nothing but mental ghosts and memories. Yet, as it had been for twenty thousand years leading up to that final battle, she continued to live long after they died.
A shiver ran down Talia’s back and she clutched herself tight as she started to sob again. Everything was in vain. The Republic, the President, the people she commanded, had died millenniums ago, their bodies, turned to dust, leaving nothing behind to grieve. Just the endless cycle of death and life that’d been her companion for centuries.
“Kate,” Lisa said as she touched her shoulder. “Are you ok?”
Talia whirled her head around, unfolding her arms as she did. “Don’t touch me!” She screamed.
Talia, Tavork said through her link, calm down. The flashbacks will pass soon. Also, I detect your sisters here.
That’s easy for you to say! You don’t have to go through them! Wait a second! What did you say? They’re here? Where?
One is standing next to you.
This woman? She doesn’t even look like one of them!
Neither do you, , Tavork said sadly.
Talia looked down at her arms and torso and her eyes grew wide. None of it matched up to her memories! Her arms looked pasty, as if she’d been out of the sun for the winter, and her breasts were half the size they’d been before.
“Where are my…” Her eyes grew wide. “Different voice. That’s weird. And my breasts! They’re so much smaller! What happened to me?” “Your mind is inside a cybernetic body,”
Note to reader: This is a rough draft of the rewrite, so there will be lots of mistakes. I write the entire book in one go, then edit, so it’ll be a while before I fix this.
Talia placed a hand on the shower wall and then looked down at the floor as the steam caressed her. Water beat down on her silver hair, running down in rivulets, as she looked at her other hand. Pasty white skin, like that of someone who had been out of the sun for a year, covered her hand and the rest of her body. She stared at it for a couple seconds, then closed her eyes.
What was she?
Why was she alive?
Those questions rattled around her brain, never ceasing, always haunting her, every minute since her reawakening. What was the rationale behind the one who brought her back? Did she not do everything that was asked of her and then some?
She never asked for the eggheads to create her, to cosign her to spend her entire life, except for short breathers meant to allow her and her sisters to remain sane, to combat. Neither did she have any say in the fact that the powers to be made her, and her sisters, dopamine addicts-in order to make them fight. None of it was fair; cruel beyond belief described things fairly.
Hot water ran down her neck, between her breasts, and then down her baseboard stomach as she leaned back against the wall. Talia closed her eyes as she slid to the floor and then pulled her legs tight to her before placing her forehead on her knees.
The cascading water washed away the tears as she started to sob. Everything that mattered her was gone, lost to the flow of time like dust in the wind. The Republic, who she had served her entire life for, didn’t exist. It was a mere memory in the history of the galaxy. Dirrnyg, her son, the only time in her life when she allowed herself to be a parent, gone for so long that even his bones had turned to dust, and then scattered throughout Gahlza’s surface.
Yet, here she was living still, continuing, even when there was no war to fight. Entire cities rose, fell and rose again as the cycle repeated itself-all while she watched. Generations of soldiers and sailors, too many to truly remember the faces, came, fought and died, and she trundled on. The politicians were born, achieved power, lost power as another generation took over, while she lived another lifetime.
Over the centuries of her life, fiction writers wrote about immortality and how it could be a positive. Talia would look at the words on the page and then shake her head, rueful thoughts filling her mind.
There was one thing that she had learned in her twenty-thousand years of life, was that immortality did not live up to the writers’ lofty expectations. Instead, immortality, or near immortality in Talia’s case, proved to be more hell than heaven. To see people born, live and die while she trudged on. Battle after battle, colony after colony lost, as The Dragus continued to gain ground.
She sat there, letting the water pound down on the top of her head, and just let the emotions flow. They would be docking with Ireland’s orbital station, which she left Methos to handle. Reyes would be waiting to see her and, to be honest, he was the last person in the galaxy she wanted to see. The coming confrontation over the Valiant and the cruiser’s ownership would be bruising and would leave her annoyed, and ready to snap someone’s head off. However, she did not have a choice, the conversation had to take place.
This book has been the most fun to write of the three I’ve completed. The emotional connection to the character is the strongest I have ever had. However, don’t rule Talia out! Need to rewrite/rework her story-with the focus on her as a character. So, she’ll stay up near the top.
Writing something that isn’t in the normal field that I read, or watch anime wise, was a challenge. Thankfully, my beta readers have been very good. They do watch that type anime, etc, so got a lot of insight from thing. Biggest thanks goes to Raya for helping me understand how a teen girl would think/react to something. Helps make the MC more like who she is-not a guy trying to write a female character. Second, I have to give props out to Stella for brainstorming great fantasy ideas. Couldn’t have made this story without their input and help.
There’s something about a magical girl that brings out the whimsical part of a person’s mind. Perhaps it’s due to the type of story, maybe it’s the characters. Either way, these types of stories really bring out the best in a writer.
The one thing that the beta readers have loved about it, is the fact that it’s not just an action story. This is a story about a relationship and not all about the action. With any luck, everyone will get to read it and enjoy it.
And Elvis has left the building.
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