Even Lupo hadn't come calling for her to come train during the day, and that was a first. She wouldn't allow herself to believe that it was because he felt guilty for what he did to her. She just wouldn't let herself think of anything but cleaning off as much of the blood as she could and then escape. That's all that really mattered.
Somehow, someway, she had found an area of weakness in the "fortress" she was housed in. There was a level that was similar to a basement, a level she knew about but could never get into it. All entrances were locked, padlocked, and magnetically held shut. But today, almost miraculously, the door was open a crack. Just enough space for her to squeeze past it. She did so, and upon inspection of the evidently empty basement area, found a screen window. This window was up near the semi-low ceiling, and just above ground level. There was no protective gate around it, and all she had to do to get out of that basement was to pop the screen, crawl through, and book it. Of course, not during daylight, but she would return later that night to escape. Cheerfully, she squeezed out of the basement, and skipped back to her room.
The rest of the day went by relatively fast, with no Lupo hollering for her to get her ass to the training rooms or he'd kick it all the way to Mercya and back, no servant knocking on her door and bothering her. Everyone just left her alone, for whatever reason. She didn't think about why, all that was important was that they stay like that until she was long gone.
Nobody bothered her even after the sun had long since gone down. Nobody came to make certain she was in her "room" and lock her doors so as to ensure she stay put throughout the night. While she had remained imprisoned there for years, not a soul there had trusted that she wouldn't try to escape, even after all hope was lost. Every night, without fail, they would lock her in until daybreak. Yet.. that night must have been the freak exception, for no one came to check on her. Not a soul, and she hastened out of there, closing the door behind her, so she wouldn't be there for when or if they did. She ran quickly back down to the basement, avoiding hallway cameras. She could not believe the luck she had had thus far, and had the sick feeling in her gut that the basement door would now be closed and locked tight. And to her amazement when she reached it, the door was still open just a crack, enough for her to squeeze past once again. She did so, and once on the other side, began to giggle madly. She couldn't believe her luck. But she snapped shut before more than a giggle could escape her throat, and once again focused on the matter at hand. She stealthily advanced to the screen window, looking about her to make sure that the basement was, once again and indeed, empty. When she reached the screen, there was the brief problem of getting up there and out, this screen window to freedom that was five and a half feet above her head. Only a brief set back. She took a few steps backward, and ran to the wall top speed, and upon reaching said wall, jumped with all the power in her legs. Of course she fell short of the intended grip target, but she had been taught many tricks by Lupo. She hit the wall, and used the strength and gripping power in her feet and hands to claw frantically upward until her hands found solid purchase. This trick was nothing special; just had to be executed quickly, else she just drop back to the floor to try again. While only the tips of her fingers caught the sill of the screen window, that was more than enough. With a grunt of effort, she hoisted herself up onto the sill's ledge, and face-to-face with the screen. She was right; there was no obtrusive cagee outside this screen to prevent the actions she was performing now; there was no security bars just outside the screen to prevent it being popped out from the inside; there wasn't even any security cameras or detection lasers to make sure nothing came out of that basement through that screen window. It was as if someone was careless and left all securtiy measures on the backburner when making this window. Perhaps they thought the fact this window was ceiling level would be enough of a deterrant? If so, then Lupo had taught her far too well, and didn't crush her need for survival enough. Not allowing her exhileration of impending freedom cloud her craftiness, she popped out the screen, skillfully and quietly, and set it down slowly on the grass. She poked her head out a half way, and looked around at her surroundings. A tower to the left, tower to the right. Immediately in front of her: Open area. Large open area, and off in the distane, a fence. A paltry, run of the mill chainlink fence. It was nothing. Of course, the fact that the towers were there on opposing sides of the open field she needed to cross to get over that fence would be the problem. She would have to run, hurridly, sparratically. That way, if they opened fire, they would have a more difficult time actually hitting her. This was her one shot. Her only shot. She'll either die on that open field, or die in freedom on the other side of the fence.
No more waiting. She fixed herself into a ready-to-run position, and focused her gaze strictly on the object in front of her. One second, two, three-- and broke into the fastest paced run of her life. She moved faster than she had ever gone in her life, her desire for freedom driving her past her limits. A quarter way through, no gunfire. Nearly a half way through, no gunfire. Not even a breeze. Past halfway, and whoever was manning the gun towers must have been stirred awake just then and noticed her trying to escape. For at this time, she could hear the cranks of gears, the swivelling of the turnstiles the guns were mounted on, and the click! of the trigger being pulled just before the gunfire started coming at her from both directions. Machine gun fire. Spitguns that would tear her to shreds if she got hit. She didn't let herself panic, she just stayed focused on the fence no more than 100 feet in front of her, and ran in random zig zags. As she drew closer, she was aware of other bullets being fired, not coming from the tops of the towers like the spitguns were, but lower down. It didn't matter where they were being fired from, what mattered was that one of their bullets hit her, nailed her right in her leg. Luckily, whatever type of gun that was being fired at her now, were not barraging her a dozen at a time; just one. Like an everyday Glock. These guns wouldn't rip her to bits, but the shot in the leg hurt. It hit right dead on one of the cuts she received the previous night, and caused her to shout out with the sudden stinging and anger that she allowed herself to get hit, and bobbed and weaved and stumbled and then regained control of her dash. She ran a bit slower now, but it was noticable only to her. She got hit again with the pistol bullet in her right side, and the spitgun fire nailed the ground she was running on, thus grazing her right foot and chopping the side of it to bloody ribbons. She did not slow. She just hollared out in the dead of night, grit her teeth and bore it. She reached the fence, and scaled it, practically throwing herself onto the other side, but not before getting hit again by two more regular bullets (One in her right leg and the other in her left side), and grazed again by the spitgun fire, this time the affected area was her back. She hit the ground right on her right side, sending a bolt of ripe fresh pain throughout her body. Unwittingly she rolled onto her scorched and bloodied back, and immediately rolled once again back onto her stomach. In reality, no matter which way she rolled, she'd feel the searing pain of the bulletwounds and the spitgun wounds eating away at her flesh. She didn't care; in fact, she started laughing. She was behind the fence. She was away from Lupo, away from the beatings, the brutal emotional abuse, the viciously cruel rape. She was more than likely mortally wounded, but the fact remained: She was free. And then she fell unconcious.
Some point during the night, she awoke again to the touch of hands on her body. Not in a disagreeable way, however; it took her only a second to realize that, whoever it was that was touching her, was dressing her wounds. The hands were calm, calculating, comforting. She couldn't see too clearly; everything a gritty blur. But she uttered a vocalization (not necessarily an actual word) that was heard by this stranger. He responded, in a soothing voice with a calming timbre to it, an accent clear in his voice: "Go on back t' sleep, luv. I'll be done 'ere in one moment time, and on me way, and you'll live on ter be free as th bird." She wanted to respond to that, but he immediately started humming a tune; a haunting tune, nevertheless mellowing, and she soon found herself drifting off once again.
When she next awoke, the sun was rising, and she was alone. However, since she was only just a few feet away from the fence that confined the area which she was imprisoned in, she would not be for long. No doubt Lupo or Anarkis would send soldiers out to retrieve her. If she was to move, it was to be quickly. With ease that surprised her, she got to her feet, and trotted off into the wilderness.
She may have trotted along aimlessly in the woods for a day or two, or even three weeks for all she knew. She was intensely sore, she felt as though she could fall apart at any given time. Running wasn't impossible for her in this condition, she knew that for certain; but she just lost the drive to run. As far as she was concerned.. the need for running was over. Freedom. Freedom.
Running into a kid her age wasn't a part of the plan of freedom, but it happened anyway. In a clearing, she saw this boy - a bit taller, and clearly a raccoon - seemingly just passing through. She was about to turn tail and run, if he hadn't of seen her. The caught each other's glance, and remained still, frozen. To Amanda, this was far too reminiscent of the night previous, before Lupo had gone at her. She shuddered, and backed away a little bit. Her fear must have been written all over her face, for he said quietly to not be afraid, to not run away, he wasn't going to hurt her. (The fact that her body was literally bullet-riddled didn't register in her mind as a reason why he seemed so concerned) He advanced, slowly and cautiously, and asked who she was and where she was going. At first Amanda did not respond, still unsure whether or not to trust this boy she just happened upon, but eventually, timidly, uttered her name, and that she didn't know where she was going, so long as it was to safety. He was less shy about introducing himself - Bo was his name - and offered her a place of safety back at his home, a couple miles from where they were. She smiled, and nodded; said she's be so happy to go. He too seemed cheery, despite his obvious nervousness while regarding her. She kept her distance, but followed him.. and then she stopped, hearing a twig snap directly ahead of them. He stopped too, and asked her what was wrong. Hurridly, she ran in front of him, as if to protect, and the next thing Bo could see was some massive thing crashing down the bushes and trees before them, and another decimating the foliage to their right and left. Then the next thing Bo saw would stick in his mind for the rest of his life; this odd-looking girl he had just met bounded forward, pushing him backward, and attacked these.. things. It was scary, seeing someone so obviously injured moving so fast and determined. She took out the first cyborgian-thing with ease, leaping upto it's chest and simply kicking it's head off, sending a spray of sparks and blood all over the place. She proceeded to hop off the fallen creature, spin around and disarm (literally) the advancing creature coming in from the right, and while it frantically flailed about over it's newly missing arm, she used the arm as a sort of baseball bat to swing at the one coming in from the left, clipping it's head but not decapitating it. It didn't hurt it enough to even distract it, and so she dropped low, swung a kick and disconnected it's left leg, knocking it over. Immediately she rolled to her right, just as the one-armed cyborg creature brought down an axe of huge proportions where she was, and as she recovered, swung another kick that took it's head off as well (this head flew far, and landed at Bo's feet, to which he uttered a yelp of disgust and shock). The de-legged creature didn't recover quite as fast from the shock of losing a limb, and Amanda took advantage of it by bashing it's head in, rather than completely off.
It was over in less than 30 seconds.
She was proud of herself, for she evidently impressed her new acquaintence to dumbstruck silence. But this surprise ambush by these cyborgian creations (Amanda knew of them; Lupo would frequently speak of new projects Anarkis was undertaking, and arbitrarily mentioned something about prototype cyborgs that were made) was more than enough to set their pace from "relaxed" to "get the fuck home".
When they had reached the town Bo had called both Marselle and home, he took her directly to a doctor. The doctor was shocked at the sight of Amanda, but was reassured by Bo that she meant no harm; in fact saved his life on the way over. Humbly she said he was exagerrating, but blushed and looked away anyways. The doctor removed bullets and stitched wounds, and sent her on her way, not wanting to invade her privacy by inquiring on how she got such extensive wounds. Bo took her outside, and decided to introduce her to his friends. He did, and luckily for all of them, they got on the right foot imediately. On that day, the concrete friendship that Bo Raccoon, Davis Tamais, Kittie and Kat Feline, and Amanda shared was made, and has yet to be broken.
The years would go by. Anarkis was reported dead after a raid of sorts on her fortresses, apparently due to suicide. They stayed together, they grew older, they grew closer. While they were all as close as friends could possibly get (a couple times between varying persons moreso..), Amanda and Bo seemed to share a friendship that went far deeper than friendship, far more than love without true love. They depended on one another. If one was not well, the other would come down with whatever was ailing the other. They were inseperable.
Their lives took a complete about-face, however. Anarkis had been dead for a better part of
a year. Things almost seemed like they were possible to be brought back to normal. Restoration
was in place. But by the time Amanda was 14.. there was another being going around and killing
people, destroying property, buildings.. all seemingly with no purpose or direction in forethought.
This man had done nearly as much damage as Anarkis had done in three years without anyone being
totally and fully aware of it. But this man and his makeshift "army" had become less and less
concerned about whether or not their existence and what they did was known. They hit nearly
all the cities of Coveland, systematically, and viciously. People were dying. The citizens of
Marselle knew that their time to get hit would be soon, and braced for it. But when it came,
it was clear that no amount of preperation would do them a lick of good. There was just too
many of them and they were too fast. The citezens of Marselle fought hard for their freedom,
for their lives. Among the many, Amanda, Bo, and Davis had taken to the frontlines, while Kittie
and her brother Kat stole away to the woods with a few other individuals, and tried to work
out a way for Marselle to come out of this battle the victors.
But Amanda, Bo, and Davis fought hard for their lives and their homes. Amanda became lost in
everything she was taught, disabling attacking soldiers left and right. Even though she was,
it still didn't seem to be enough. They just kept coming and coming. But she kept going. She
was faster, stronger, bigger than what she was when she was 11. She was more able. And
for some reason she was unsure of the meaning of, she felt the need to move forward, and find
who it was that was leading this army. She felt that, if she could work her way to him/her,
and kill them, then everything would be over with. No one would hassle her for killing someone.
Not with all the death that was going on around her at that second. She doubted she'd feel very
guilty for doing so, either. She had killed before, and she wasn't plagued with the guilt that
many say they feel when they've killed someone.
She didn't find anyone who resembled a leader in the mass that she was fighting in, rather, their
leader found her. Not really "found", per se, he just seemed to jump into the fight and start
slaughtering. He was unstoppable, it almost seemed; he was armed only with a sword and some odd
staff with a peculiar blade on one end, and would periodically pull a gun from his belt and use it
as well. Either way, he was mowing down Marsellians left and right like so much grass. He had
come close to where she was, and she noticed all of a sudden the dispersement in the madness. It
was becoming far too one-sided.. and then their eyes met. To Amanda's horror, the man that had
been leading this army, been the cause of all the deaths in the other cities and towns and countries,
had been none other than the man that had hurt her so terribly for years and years: Lupo Wolfe.
They both froze when their eyes met, neither believing what it was they were seeing. They both
had let themselves believe that the other had died! It was like seeing a ghost, or one coming
back from the dead. They stood frozen, just like one night particularly years before.. however
this time, it was Amanda that spoke first. It was simple, it was blunt: "You're alive, you're doing
all this, you god damn son of a bitch, I'll see to it you die for what you've done!!" and
charged at him. He stood there, still disbelieving not only the fact that she was really there,
but the fact that she had actually spoken those words to him. He had never heard her
be so cruel in speak. It angered and excited him, and then his attention re-asserted itself.
He blocked her running kick last second, and the two began to fight just like they had sparred years
before; no quarter given, no quarter taken; and cancelling each other out. No one was winning;
they were to evenly-matched. They would have fought for hours, had the people of Marselle not decided
to pull out of the battle and make a hasty retreat. Bo and Davis, frightfully wounded from the
battle, ran around frantically looking for their wayward friend. They found her, duking it out with a
guy that was twice as big as she was, and much more armed. They nabbed her, and pulled her away, kicking
and screaming, from this man they didn't know. He didn't stop them, and they carried her off to
safety. When they got within clear distance of the attacking army, they sat her down and asked
that she explain what was going on. All she had to say was that the man's name she was fighting
with was Lupo, and they understood immediately. It was then they realized just what was ahead of
them in their lives.
The battle for Marselle was fought, the city itself was left to ruins. The citizens that ran
and survived returned home (if you could call it that) and tried to get on their feet. They
couldn't very well rebuild the entire area, but they could make do with what they had. They didn't
want to attract the attentions of Lupo and his "army" again. The loss of life would be total.
A year of recovery went by, and the few citizens left in Marselle kept their eyes and ears open.
They knew that Lupo didn't stop at decimating their town, destroying countries, cities, lives all over the
Planet. However, they didn't keep themselves totally recluse, waiting for everything to blow over.
Amanda, fueled by her hatred for the man that was doing all of this, rallied everyone left in the
city, and told them to start training themselves to fight. To use weapons. They were going to fight back,
or die letting the Planet get destroyed. No one disagreed with her; her words were far too evident
in what was happening with the world already. It was dying, Lupo and his followers were killing it.
They prepared. They learned to fight, they learned strategies, they learned how to operate many
different weapons. The survivors of Marselle had become a small army of their own. They were
prepared for what was to come.
Lupo had mired away with his thoughts, knowing now that Amanda was alive and, apparently, well.
Like Amanda had figured he'd do, he returned to Marselle - with no real hostile intentions, yet brought
a large part of his ever-growing army with him - to inspect the site and see if she was there. If there
were any survivors, he'd have them killed, yes, but his main thought now was to find Amanda.
He found her. Her and the rest of the survivors residing in Marselle, at the center of town, apparently
waiting for him. In front of them was the object Lupo was hunting for: Amanda, cross-armed, with the
cold look of determination on her face that Lupo always admired.. now, he didn't care much for it at all.
It was focused on him. It was full of defiance. Both armies stood, opposite the other, almost
like the classic days of standoffs in front of the western saloon. Lupo stepped forward, Amanda stepped
forward. The deafening silence was cut with Lupo's voice, calm but firm: "What is all this, Amanda?"
Amanda's response was equally calm and just as firm: "This is where you stop taking everything
from this Planet and it's people. This is where we stop being little children, cowering from everything
bad. You either stop this madness, or you'll see what we can do to save ourselves. What do you say?"
And Lupo, angered further by this outright display of defiance, said nothing at first. Then: "I've got
no intention of stopping, Ace. Now you tell me, what are you going to do about it?" She didn't say
anything at first.. and then, she said simply, quietly: "Then you and I, me and you, we and all of you,
are now, officially, at war." And then all the army that stood behind her attacked. Lupo's army responded
in kind. The battle was almost legendary, not just for the declaration of war, but for the bloodiness,
the death, the outright gruesomeness. Both sides lost considerable numbers, and both walked away
divinely more bitter and determined than going in. Amanda and Lupo especially. After all.. history
was written that day. The most bloody, most horrible war in years had been forged to start that day..
and nothing could possibly have continued on as it was. In fact.. everything began to fall apart.
Everything changed, everything grew worse. Lupo did not stop the killing of innocents, rather, he
hastened with it. The worst part of the war was a year after the initial declaration, and by that
time, everyone on the Planet had taken sides. The A-side was christened by those who had chosen
to follow Lupo's ideals and beliefs. The S-side was named for the side following Amanda, who was
unanimously chosen to be the leader of their army. She didn't believe that she deserved such
honor, but she accepted it. Then, soon thereafter, the people who didn't know which side to
go to formed their own little "side" - the NFA. They were subjected to getting hunted down by Bounty
Hunters employed by the A-side to either choose a side, or die. And still others who didn't want to
remain neutral, nor really choose either A or S side, formed their own quaint little mercenary group
called Wrongside. It was a pun more than anything else.
Amanda was 16 when the worst part of the war hit. The reason why the war had been at it's worst
at this point was due to the loss of life; Accurately, one million per day were dying. It didn't appear
to affect any of the A-side, but the S-side.. particularly Amanda.. felt great remorse over this. And Amanda
herself believed she was at fault. She believed that these millions of innocent lives would still
have been alive, if only she had not been so arrogant as to declare war. She believed that
their deaths were her fault, that their blood was on her hands. Things eventually quieted down
in the death department, a year later, and the population of the Planet had waned from 7 and a half
billion to 9 million. It was evident all around her. You could walk for days in any direction without
passing a single soul.. it was more likely you'd pass a dead, rotting corpse, rather, twelve. All
the major cities were rubble; buildings still stood, and people still lived in them.. they lived wherever
it was hospitable. The beef of the S-side resided in a large, yet war-torn and run-down building to the
south east of the Badlands. It wasn't chosen for it's size or it's historical significance, but rather because
it had enough beds and running water. Later on, it became useful for it's cababilities to house
equipment of technological nature. Amanda herself never really cared about technology or computers,
but knew they'd be vital in the long run.
For Amanda, time passed slowly, and she grew more and more distraught and disappointed with herself
and what she had believed she started.
As it so stands to present day, the S-side is losing to the A-side, and has considerably less
numbers in it's ranks. They're outnumbered, and they're losing, and Amanda blames herself for it.
Despite all of that guilt, she still goes on with this war, for she firmly believes that she is still
the last hope for the Planet. The millions and billions dead weigh heavily on her, but for some
reason, something inside her - so deep that she can barely hear it - tells her that she's the Planet's
last resort. The only thing that can save it and it's children.
However.. this "inner voice" has all but been completely drowned out by self-doubts, self-pity, self-hatred,
and regrets and depression too far gone to fathom. She's often contemplated suicide - and later on tried
to do it several times (and, strangely, considering the circumstances, failed) because of how much she
despises all the things she's done and the people she's hurt. She knows that people love her, but that's
what hurts her the most - feeling as though she's devastatingly hurt the ones she loves more than
anyone or anything. She can barely live with herself.. and sometimes, the only thing that keeps her
going is knowing of her responsibility and what she has to do to save them. She thinks she's failing -
however, those who follow the S-side (and some, if not most from the other sides) believe she's done the
right thing, and is doing rather well. No matter what, those that love her and care for her will
stand by her side through thick and thin.
Amanda herself appears to be cold toward others, and not uncommonly wary. But, appearances can be very
deceiving; she is, in fact, a very loving person, and will stand by anyone she holds dear, those that make
it through her wall. In all truth, she holds her friends to the highest regard, far above herself, and will
throw her life on the line or totally away to protect them.
All she cares about is helping others, saving others, caring for others. If she must fight to do so, then
so be it. She wants to save the world she has had a large hand in destroying.. and before the end, kill
the man that caused all this pain and suffering to her and the Planet, that makes her hate so much, that she hates more than anything
there is left in the world: Lupo Wolfe.
Character and content © Amanda Payne. Do NOT copy, or use without permission.