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The Condemned


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#1
LilRedhare

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The Condemned

Editor’s note: This is my first entry for Sparks in the Ashes and hopefully not my last. FE has been a great trip and if I can’t get back into the game, I hope to share some of my wonderful experiences through fiction. I hope you enjoy it!-Kathryn A. “Kit” Southworth

Kit peered through the scope of the modified Rangemaster .30-06 and lined up a shot on the closest enforcer. She had been harassing this particular camp for 3 days now, every since their visit to Midway and the bloody aftermath. Kit was hoping to get another officer today, but the Enforcers were starting to get wise to her. Still, she was willing to kill every enlisted man in the camp first if she had to, in order to get to the officers. When they all lay dead, Kit intended to take her time with their commander. For now, she lay in some yellowed scrub brush, the improvised ghillie suit making her clothes cling to her body with sweat. She slowed her breathing, as she had been taught, centered the crosshairs of the scope onto her target and slowly exhaled. As the breath left her body, she squeezed the trigger….

Kit had sloughed into Midway with the rest of the refugees; scrawny, starving, dirty and pathetic. She had no idea who she was, no memory of her life prior to leaving the little ramshackle village southeast of Linewood. She had left the village with 38 others after Enforcers had come into the village looking for “VEE-Stahs”. She had no idea what a “VEE-Stah” was, but apparently the Enforcers didn’t like them very much. One villager, an old man with scars on his face, fought the Enforcers, spitting at them and calling them “fuzz” and “pigs”. He seemed to have a long-standing hatred for them. They searched his house and found an olive drab jumpsuit with several patches on it; one patch depicted a large tree full of green leaves. When the Enforcers saw this, they fell on the man, striking him with boots, rifle butts and fists. They nearly beat him to death. Then they began interrogating the villagers.

The rifle bucked against Kit’s shoulder. There was no giveaway puff of smoke from the rifle; Kit’s designs were better than that. The shot flew true and struck the soldier above his right eye, a neat round hole marking the entry point. The soldier flew backwards and struck the ground hard, his rifle clattering to the earth. Then the ringing bang of the shot echoed throughout the camp. Soldiers jumped at the sound and began scrambling for cover. A few fired randomly into the scrub, some actually striking near Kit. She crawled for about 80 yards to her right, actually moving closer to the camp; they would not expect that. When she reached her new spot, she worked the bolt of the rifle, ejecting the fired casing. She grabbed and pocketed the brass and then loaded a fresh round…

Of the 38 refugees from her village, only 12 survived the trip to Midway. A few fell to starvation, a few more to the wildlife that flourished along the travel path. Once, and only once, they were attacked by raiders. That was when most of them died. Kit survived the fight by hiding, but when a raider attacked Nana, a kindly old women who had cared for Kit, the young girl had jumped up and drew the only weapon she had at the time; a rusty old kitchen knife. Kit rammed the blade into the throat of the skinny raider and twisted it. The raider had gurgled in shock and fell thrashing to the ground. When Kit had turned to check on Nana, she found the old woman dead. The rest of the journey was a blur.

Kit tried to bury herself in the earth as the patrol swept passed her, searching in an expanding circle. Twice, the search parties had passed within feet of her. Kit’s field craft was better than any Enforcers could ever hope to be. She was confident she would not be found. Hours went by as the parties searched for her. Kit used the opportunity to move even closer to the camp. She lay in wait for another hour, then she raised her scope again. She took her time scanning the camp, passing up on the enlisted men hunkered down behind the sparse cover among the tents. This time, she saw the telltale marks of an officer as he broke from cover and sprinted for what Kit assumed was the command tent…

Kit was only in Midway for a few hours when she was taken in by a kindly man and his wife. The man called himself “The Fallen One”. Kit could see he had scars on his face and arms. As kindly as he was, it was obvious that he was not, or had not been, an angel of mercy. His body, although scarred, was thin and strong. His hands were large and powerful. His eyes, wrinkled as they were, were sharp. He had a patient, almost humble, manner about him. He reminded Kit of the priest that had lived in her village. If she recalled correctly, he had not always been a priest and had eyes like Fallen.

Kit tracked the officer, her rifle panning to the left. As fast as she tracked him, the officer seemed to possess uncanny speed and was about to make it to the tent. Kit rushed her shot, striking the officer on the shoulder instead of the head. He flew to the side, disappearing behind the ramp of the tent entrance. Kit swore under her breath, her greed betraying her. She began crawling away from the camp and to the right, towards a tree line and the heavy forest beyond. The Enforcers had again jumped at the sound of the shot, but this time they seemed to home in on it. Despite their lack of field craft, they seemed to be closing on her position. Kit tried to crawl faster, but any more speed and she would cause tell-tale clouds of dust or shaking brush. If that happened, she might as well shoot herself. After killing over a dozen of the Enforcers over 3 days, they would have very little mercy for her. As that thought passed through her head, two sets of boots appeared in her path…

Over the years, Fallen had taught her marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat, first aid, knife fighting, tracking and a host of other skills. He had taught her with a great deal of patience but he demanded excellence. “Never settle for less than your best, girl-child”, he would say to her over and over. It became her mantra. Kit became an expert marksman, uncanny tracker, a master scavenger and an incredible medic. He had helped her tap into powers she never knew she had as well. After a battle with a gang of raiders, Kit had walked among the wounded, and with a touch, had healed the slightly wounded among them. As time passed, Kit had learned to heal more serious wounds; by the time she was a teenager, she didn’t need to touch someone to heal them and she was able to heal more than one at a time, including herself. Fallen had called this ability “nano-healing” and pushed her to develop this skill in particular. She became known for her incredible abilities and soon, men and women in olive drab or camouflage outfits rode into town to speak to Fallen about her.

Kit froze as the boots in front of her began to move slowly in her direction. The boots moved with hesitation, as if searching. They would halt, and then step cautiously forward. As the boots neared her position, Kit slowly drew her matched .454 revolvers. The rifle wouldn’t help much at close range. She thumbed the hammers back as carefully as she could, but one of them betrayed her, the sound carrying on the wind. The two soldiers turned at the sound and ran at her position. One of them began shouting wildly into a hand-held radio. Kit burst from her hiding place and opened fire with her pistols, gunning down the soldier in front and wounding the radio user. Kit sprinted past them and towards the safety of the woods, bullets zipping past her. As she neared the tree line, she dove for the cover of the woods. But as she fell into the trees, she felt a hammer of pain descend on her as a bullet smashed into her hip…

The men and women who had come to see Fallen were some of the “VEE-Stah” that Kit had heard of as a girl. At first meeting, Kit was accusatory and aloof. Nana had died because of the old man, a “VEE-Stah”. If it wasn’t for these “VEE-Stah”, she and Nana would still be living happily in the old village. But over the course of several days, she had come to understand that it had been the Vista, their true name, that had been protecting the village all along and that the attack had occurred because the townsfolk, including Nana, had asked them to leave so they could invite in Tech scientists who had promised food, electricity and other amenities The Enforcers had come to wipe away any vestiges of Vista presence and “bring order” to the town. Kit learned to not only forgive the Vista; she left Midway for Thorne’s Bluff to live among them and learn their ways. At first, she thought this would displease Fallen. But on the day of her departure, he had come to her wearing a camouflage jacket, one bearing a patch of a tree with green leaves.

Kit crawled into the woods, pain exploding throughout her entire hip. She dragged herself into the tree line, her pistols slipping from her nerveless hands. Blood trailed from the wound, marking her escape path for every Enforcer to see. Kit knew from experience that she was done for. Badly wounded and no time to heal herself, she was outnumbered and down to her rifle and knife. Kit readied herself for the first soldiers to arrive, quickly stuffing some of the tattered rags she used for bandages into her side. As they drew near, Kit sighted on the closest. She would kill him, then as many as she could while the rifle ammo held out. When the rifle ran dry, she would pull her lone grenade, a rare and treasured weapon, pull the pin and hold it until the soldiers got close. Then she would destroy as many of them as she could as well as herself. Kit began firing the rifle with a steady rhythm, a soldier falling with each shot. Soon, the rifle fell silent as the last of the ammo was used. Kit pulled the grenade, tears streaming down her face. “Fallen” She whispered and inserted her finger in the pin…

Over 5 years passed after Kit left Midway for Thorne’s Bluff. Kit learned more than she ever dreamed of. She also became a teacher. She made friends. She found a lover. She called Thorne’s Bluff home. She also missed Fallen terribly. She became a Vista Ranger, She helped people. She saved lives. She came to belief in the goodness in people, in the goodness in herself. The wastes weren’t all terrible; there was some good out there, good that she helped create and nurture. After 7 years, she finally took leave to return to Midway and visit Fallen. She wanted to tell him what had happened to her, that his teaching changed her life and that she had expected the best of herself and made a difference. After a long, uneventful journey, Kit arrived in Midway to find the outskirts aflame. She rushed to the home just north of the old Globaltech cloner. The house had been almost completely burned to the ground. Fallen and his wife, Ali, lay face down on the ground outside the smoldering wreckage, their bodies riddled with bullets. A few other bodies lay nearby. When Kit pressed the neighbors and closest settlers for answers, she learned a party of Enforcers had come near Midway looking for a CHOTA war party that had apparently been resupplied in Midway. Somehow, the soldiers had been given Fallen’s name and had come to the house to interrogate him. Fallen had resisted.

As Kit began to pull the pin, a large explosion flung many of the nearby soldiers to the ground. Rifle fire rang out, striking the Enforcers in the next rank. Many went down. Kit could not tell just how many of the mysterious attackers were firing, but they were very accurate and deadly. Soon, shotgun blasts rang out, felling a few more soldiers. The Enforcers kept pressing for the trees, intent on reaching the tree line and the enemy within. As they neared Kit’s position, warriors burst from the tree line and onto the surprised soldiers. These warriors, dressed in irregular armor decorated in bone, feathers and splashes of red paint, began to smash down the soldiers with clubs, swords, hammers and baseball bats wrapped with barbed wire. As the gunfire began to die down, the war whoops grew louder until it was all that could be heard. Soon, one loud victorious cry rang out throughout the area…

Kit buried her mentor, his wife and all their allies. She had combed through the wreckage of the house and found Fallen’s prized possessions: A matched pair of .454 revolvers, each with custom pink rubber grips. He claimed to have been given them by a traveler named Shiu, who had bet them in a game of Texas hold ‘em and lost to Fallen. Whenever she would tease him about the grips, Fallen would just laugh and call them his “fuzzy bunnies” and joke that one day they’d be hers. Kit choked up at the thought of that memory. She holstered the weapons and placed the rolled clothes she had taken off of Fallen’s body onto the back of her saddle. She then began tracking the Enforcer party. She followed them past Boneclaw, where they had lost two soldiers to CHOTA scouts; past Embry, where they had resupplied; up through old Kingman, where they had killed some of Casta Gaunt’s men and lost 2 more of their own; into sector 2 and Sunshine Corner, where they had picked up a party of Tech scientists. Kit stayed on them until they had dropped off the scientists at Picus Ridge and made camp several miles north of the Tech settlement. That night, watching their camp fires, Kit had taken the roll of Fallen’s clothes, her survival knife and some tape and busied herself. When she was finished, she had made a roughshod ghillie suit. Kit donned the suit and moved closer to the camp. Just before sunlight, she had taken her first shot.

The mysterious warriors moved up to and around Kit, moving silently but confidently. These CHOTA warriors were tall and ranged from very fit to outright muscular. As they closed on her, they arranged themselves in a semi-circle around her. There were a dozen of them, heavily armed and lethal. Together, they had managed to kill over 30 Enforcer soldiers. Kit was beyond impressed. One warrior stepped forward, knelt and held his hands over her wound. Kit yelped a little as a heat shimmer formed over her hip. She felt the bullet dissipate as the wound closed. Light-headed, Kit’s vision blurred then cleared with a shake of her head. Looking at the warrior, Kit managed to stammer out, “who…?” The warrior rose to his feet. He was shorter than the others but stocky and his bright blue eyes shone with inner fire. “We are…The Condemned. You may call me Fly” the warrior spoke in a deep, calm voice. He gestured back to his companions. “We are the CHOTA destined to oppose our people’s enemies until we either prevail or fall. You are Vista…or you were…and you were here for revenge, yes?” Kit was taken aback by the warrior leader’s insight into her motive, but shook her head in an affirmative. “Come with us, sister. We can use someone with your gifts…yes; I can feel the healing power within you and you fight as well as any CHOTA. Join us, and you will have your revenge”. Kit rose shakily to her feet and looked around the semi-circle. The CHOTA warriors all looked back at her expectantly. Kit stood to her feet, glancing at each of the CHOTA warriors in turn. She looked the one called Fly in the eye and stated “I’ll join you, on one condition: We hunt them down, all the ones responsible for the death of my mentor. And as we do, if it’s not red, it’s dead”.

Edited by KittheRed, 29 June 2014 - 09:23 AM.

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Kit Southworth, Kitness Everdeen, Ophanim-Dying Light


#2
Chrispy Cream

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Purely amazing :D.. Nice writing kit :) , I'd love to read more if you continue this story :)


"As Kit began to pull the pin, a large explosion flung many of the nearby soldiers to the ground. Rifle fire rang out, striking the Enforcers in the next rank. Many went down. Kit could not tell just how many of the mysterious attackers were firing, but they were very accurate and deadly. Soon, shotgun blasts rang out, felling a few more soldiers. The Enforcers kept pressing for the trees, intent on reaching the tree line and the enemy within. As they neared Kit’s position, warriors burst from the tree line and onto the surprised soldiers. These warriors, dressed in irregular armor decorated in bone, feathers and splashes of red paint, began to smash down the soldiers with clubs, swords, hammers and baseball bats wrapped with barbed wire. As the gunfire began to die down, the war whoops grew louder until it was all that could be heard. Soon, one loud victorious cry rang out throughout the area…"

One of my favorite paragraphs XD

Edited by Chrispy Cream, 29 June 2014 - 12:47 PM.


#3
Calais

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Good read. It's been awhile since someone posted a story here.

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Love me or hate me. I am flattered to make the minds of so many.


#4
LilRedhare

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Thanks, guys! I actually have another story almost completed that I'll post this week. It jumps forward in my "Kit" timeline, but I do plan on more adventures with Condemned. My goal is to put out a short story every two weeks after I release the next one!

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#5
Ardenn

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*Shoot's Chrispy in the foot*

Nice writing. Was over here looking for something else. Pretty sweet seeing someone write about Condemned in this format.
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#6
LilRedhare

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Thanks, Ardenn!

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Kit Southworth, Kitness Everdeen, Ophanim-Dying Light


#7
Chrispy Cream

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*Shoot's Chrispy in the foot*

Nice writing. Was over here looking for something else. Pretty sweet seeing someone write about Condemned in this format.

We are not all bad arden ;D

#8
LilRedhare

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I wasn't...well...not all the time...

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Kit Southworth, Kitness Everdeen, Ophanim-Dying Light


#9
Mutarenebula

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that was a great character introduction. Keep up the stories.
Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.

#10
Shiu

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Ah, i like your style kitty

#11
LilRedhare

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OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! Where are you????????? I haz a new email! My old one got hacked....Kittythefreakinmeow@gmail.com..email meeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Kit Southworth, Kitness Everdeen, Ophanim-Dying Light


#12
Zetank

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well written Kit.



#13
LilRedhare

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Thank you! Now if I can get off my butt and finish "Guns of the CHOTA"...


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Kit Southworth, Kitness Everdeen, Ophanim-Dying Light


#14
Foxy Angel

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I actually enoyd reading this.

#15
LilRedhare

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Why, thank you!


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#16
Foxy Angel

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I dont read storys of a game normally, they are all the same for me.
U make this game look more "live"

#17
LilRedhare

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Oh...wow...thank you!!!


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