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Similar Deviations
Leeds is the first awake.  Shadows of his dreams still echo in his eyes when he paces into the kitchen and startles her.


"You're too quiet."  She smiles.  

He doesn't.  "Did you sleep?"

"I couldn't," she says.

He just nods.  She pours him coffee.  He drowns it in milk and sugar.  They welcome the morning in companionable silence.

"I wanted to be there for him."  It's a whisper.  He stares at the coffee mug in his hands, seeing something very different.  "I saw him get hit.  I wanted to be there so bad.  I would have gone in, but Vance held me back.  Probably saved my life.

"Zack."  He stops, almost overwhelmed, then forces himself to go on.  "I would do anything for him.  I would die for him.  But I couldn't be there."  His eyes are rimmed with tears.

She lays her hand over his.

Leeds wipes his face.  "I know you didn't want him to go for the second tour."

She shakes her head.  "It was his choice.  I respect that.  I love him.  I couldn't keep him home.  It meant so much to him."

"Thank you."  The tears escape anyway, and slide down over the scar and stubble on his face.  "Thanks for letting him come with us again.  I'm sorry I couldn't bring him home."

"It's not your fault."

"Maybe not.  But it feels like…"  He falls silent.  He's the same age as Zack, twenty-two, almost twenty-three.  Same strong shoulders and narrow chest, flat stomach, straight hips.  His arms are all muscle and sinew, skin deep tan from months in the desert.  His dogtags rest lightly against his drab green tshirt.  Unconsciously she reaches to the chain around her own neck, Zack's dogtags, which she has worn since he first graduated boot camp.

Leeds scrubs his face again, and this time, he stifles the crying.  He lays a dirty white envelope on the table and slides it across to her.  She starts to reach out, but he keeps his hand over it.  "Chia... You know what this is."

She realizes in that moment.  It chills her.  She nods, not trusting her voice.

"I think you should wait," Leeds says.

The first thing she feels at his words is relief.  She can put it off!  She doesn't have to confront this now.  She feels sick with guilt after that.  She feels the heat in her cheeks as she blushes with shame.

"I know," he tells her.  "It fuckin' hurts.  You can wait.  Wait until you're ready."

She can only nod again.  Brandon withdraws his hand, leaving the crumpled envelope lying there .  It is thin and plain, unassuming, but it might as well be a bomb.  There are faint, smudgy fingerprints on the front.  Zack's fingerprints she thinks, and feels her heart fist, her guts go icy and knotted.  She nearly breaks down.  Her eyes sting, her throat aches.

She slides it off the table into her lap so she doesn't have to look at it for the moment.  It is light – too light and thin to carry so much import.

She puts the letter into the footlocker at the foot of the bed.  Into this she has already placed Zack's dusty uniform, his boots, and gloves, his watch, a pair of sunglasses etched by sand.  Kits, and papers, a couple of journals, dog-eared manuals, and photos.  The things he had in his pockets when he died; a gum wrapper, spare change in several currencies, a stone, three spent brass bullet casings, a safety pin, a new pair of bootlaces, a pack of cigarettes, a die-cast Matchbox car with most of the paint worn off, a stub of pencil, a soft-cover notebook he'd reinforced with duct tape.  His wallet has no money in it, only more photos, and a video-rental membership card; a frequent buyer's card from their local bagel shop with eight of the ten punches filled up; a few postage stamps, already obsolete; a scrap of paper with international phone numbers written in pencil.

On top of this pile rests the tri-folded flag.  She came home from the funeral and the flag went straight into the footlocker.  The unread letter drops like a dry leaf on top of the flag.  She shuts the lid and breathes a sigh.  It is like relief.

Direct continuation of Requiem: Continued

Once again, this is a work of fiction.
For those who don't know the "death letter" is written by most service members before entering combat to be delivered to their next of kin in the event of their death. These letters are meant to be collected and held by the command element, but they are often entrusted to comrades in arms.

:bulletred: Any feedback is much appreciated.

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“Nileas!”  Ausrius bellowed again.  He could find no trace of his fellow, even with his enhanced senses, and helmet overlay.  No trace of the daemon either.
     He surveyed the cavern again, slowly re-examining all the corners.  He checked the load in his bolter, and advanced, weapon at the ready, continuing to scan in visible light, infrared, and wireframe overlay.  The ripples and folds of the tunnel played tricks on the mind, casting odd shadows and concealing entire caverns behind seemingly solid formations of stone.
    “Nileas,” he voxed again.  “Brother, do you copy?”  Likewise the dense rock played havoc with the vox net.  He had no contact with his squad commander, or Imperial forces on the surface, and, up until a quarter-hour ago, only intermittent contact with his battle brother, and that plagued by static.  Now it seemed that too was gone.
    Something slithered across stone nearby; something massive.  Ausrius turned sharply, bringing the bolter up.  He couldn’t see it, but it was dangerously close.  He moved forward, stalking the hideous presence.  Though he and his squad were nominally doing the hunting, he could not shake the feeling of being hunted.  He heard the clicking of insectoid limbs and mouthparts; the heavy slithering sound again.  Overlapping echoes, reflecting and magnifying sounds in unpredictable ways, made it impossible to tell where the source of the sound was.
    He slowed, almost shuffling as he came around a shoulder of stone into an entirely new section of the cave.
    The broad chamber was dome-like, and smooth, the space carved out over millennia by the slow trickle of water.  Stalactites depended from the ceiling in eerily organic formations.  Stalagmites of formidable stature loomed from the uneven floor.  Some were as large around as Ausrius himself.  Others were even larger.  A damp mineral smell pervaded, but Ausrius’ charmed senses detected notes of other things: Astartes sweat ripe with glanded stimulants and pain suppressants, the burned-metal and melted electrical smell of damaged ceramite armor.  Blood.  Nileas had passed through here.  The scents told him his brother was hard pressed, but gave him some thin hope that his fellow yet lived.  There was also an odor of organic decay, rancid meat, ozone and cold – that was the warp beast.
    The thing lurked here somewhere.  Even without the smell, Ausrius could sense its hateful existence.  It was like a cold whisper down the back of his neck.  A feeling of utter wrongness.  But he still could not see it.
    He saw Nileas first, leaning heavily against a stalagmite formation.  His battle brother was sorely wounded, even his gene-hanced physiology laboring under the awful damage he had taken.  His beautiful red and gold power armor was dented and sheared apart, splashed with bright blood.  His left pauldron had been torn away completely, as well as the lower vambrace and gauntlet.  His naked hand, large as it was, seemed tiny and fragile against the bulk of his armor.  The chainsword in his right fist snarled at idle.
    “Nileas.”  Ausrius started forward to his brother’s aid.  
    Nileas’ helmet was also gone, but he did not need the vox speaker to amplify his formidable voice; “Keep back!”  He threw up his left hand, bloody palm out, to emphasize the command.  “It is here.”
    The thing was on them in that moment.  It moved like lightning, like a striking serpent, and a spider, and every terrible thing imagined by human nightmares.  It was too big to move that fast!
    Ausrius unloaded his bolter at it as it dove and surged around the chamber.  It had too many limbs and too many joints in those limbs and parts of its body were like smoke or oil, shifting and reforming in ways that made him nauseous to behold.
    Nileas tried to keep his face toward the thing, his back to the stone, and always the purring chainsword between them.
    The atrocity suddenly threw itself at the wounded Astartes.  Its face – if such a perversion could be said to have a face – split apart, the lower half of the elongated, skull-like head separating into four greedy mandibles.  It’s tooth-lined maw was large enough to swallow a Space Marine whole, power armor and all.
    Nileas braced, holding the chainsword out, ready to meet the thing head on.
    Ausrius poured bolter fire down its throat.  It squealed, shrieked and writhed in on itself in impossible ways.  Ausrius shuddered with revulsion, but kept shooting, reloading when the magazine ran empty.
    One mis-jointed limb shot out and impaled Nileas with a blade-claw more than a meter long.  It sheared through his ceramite armor like it was nothing.  The Astartes groaned aloud.  Ausrius roared his fury.  Nileas struck, slashing off the blade-limb even as it was withdrawn with the same uncanny speed.  The chainsword bit through hard carapace and fleshy inner parts, the blade snarling and gurgling.  Hurt, the daemon wheeled, flailing limbs and loose coils of itself.  It threw Nileas to the floor before boiling away into the shadows, into the next chamber down the tunnel.
    “Nileas!”  Ausrius charged to his brother’s side and knelt protectively over him, the bolter still held ready.
    Nileas groaned again, blood ran from his mouth.  He was panting for breath and Ausrius thought he might be relying entirely on the smaller third lung.  Blood poured from the wound.  Normally Astartes blood clotted quickly, they were fast healers and could weather monstrous amounts of punishment and brutal pain.  But Nileas was past all limits.
    “I’ll get you out of here, Brother,” Ausrius promised.
    “No, Hellan.”
    “Fortitude,” Ausrius urged him.  He slung his bolter across his back and lifted Nileas’ shoulders, supporting him to ease his breathing.
    “Fortitude,” Nileas agreed, “and faith.  You will need both... for this mission.  Take it.”  He pointed toward the chainsword.  He had dropped it when the monster threw him down and the blade had cut off automatically.
    Ausrius hesitated.  “My brother,” he said, “I don’t understand.”
    “You must finish it,” Nileas charged him solemnly.  “Destroy that abomination.  Burn it from existence.  In the Emperor’s name.  You must not fail in this.”  He spoke haltingly, as his breathing labored, but with fierce conviction.
    Slowly, Ausrius understood.  Still cradling his dying battle-brother with one arm, he reached out and grasped the hilt of Nileas’ chainsword and lifted it.  The elder Space Marine nodded.  “Finish this,” he sighed, at the end of his strength.
    “I will, Brother.”
    “Swear.”  Blood pooled on the stones beneath them, and dripped from his mouth.
    Fighting despair at the weight of responsibility hanging over him, Ausrius drew a tight breath.  He firmed his grip upon the chainsword, the heft of a ready weapon always a comfort.  It was an ancient and venerable piece, marked with a roll of honor stretching back into the far history of Kermodes Squad.  Dozens of Howling Griffons heroes had carried this blade into battle for Guilliman and the Imperium, for the Emperor.  Drawing his strength from their memory, and their example, he improvised an oath; “Upon this weapon, and by the Throne of Terra, I swear to pursue this mission until I have succeeded, or until I am dead.”
    Nileas reached up and pressed the bloody palm of his left hand to Ausrius’ cuirass, a make-shift seal to witness and acknowledge the oath.  He let the hand fall and his head rolled back.  He was failing; this nigh-immortal super soldier, this hero, was sliding rapidly down to death, and Ausrius could not help him.
    “Brother,” the younger Astartes began.
    “Go,” Nileas charged him.  It was a whisper, but it carried such weight of authority it could not be refused.
    Ausrius knew every moment he lingered was another moment the warp-beast had to make good its escape.  He loathed the thought of abandoning his battle brother to die alone, but he also knew Nileas expected him to place duty foremost.  Gently, he lowered Nileas to the ground.  “Rest easy, brother.”
    Nileas could not answer.  He clasped his armored right fist across his ruined chest, a warrior’s salute.  He closed his eyes against the pain of each shallow, sucking breath.
    Ausrius steeled himself and turned away, advancing in the direction the monster had gone.  As much as he wanted to, he did not look back.  His brother would not expect such sentimentality, and the beast could strike again at any moment.
    He held Nileas’ chainsword right-handed, in a low guard, and drew his bolt pistol with his left hand.  The bolter rode by its sling, in reserve.  He had also the simple but reliable gladius, and three grenades.  It wasn’t much.  He hoped it would be enough.
    The beast had left its scent like spoor and Ausrius followed that, trying not to gag on the stench of corruption.  Black, oily fluid pooled on the stones in places, faintly sizzling; the noxious ichor which served the thing as blood.  They had hurt it, and if it could be hurt, it could be killed.
    He paused as he heard it; slithering, chittering to itself.  It sounded like it was right beside him, though he could not see it, the acoustics of the cave playing tricks again.  He moved steadily forward, ever vigilant.  He could smell ozone and felt the unholy chill he associated with psykers and the warp.
    It almost escaped.  He came upon it just as it approached the portal.  Ausrius had never seen anything like it.  It was a hole in reality.  A cold rush of air, and faint mist drifted out of this impossible gateway.
    The warp daemon sensed his approach and turned its neck inside out to bring its obscene head around to face him.  It flared its mouthparts at him.  It seethed, limbs and spines and eyes and hungry mouths full of teeth appearing and disappearing across its flesh in a wave that traveled down and around its length.  It was taunting him.  It made a wet, basso, shuddering, purring sound and rolled like a water serpent in a spiral swimming motion into the portal.  It flowed into the unreality as if sinking through the surface of a mirror.
    Ausrius had seen many terrible things in his decades of service with the Adeptus Astartes.  He had weathered them with commendable stoicism, but now he wavered.  Astartes do not feel fear, but alone in this dark desolate place, faced with such an unspeakable monstrosity, and the prospect of following it through a warp gate to an unknown destination, Hellan Ausrius came very close.  How could he, alone, hope to succeed against this?
    He controlled his breathing, willed his racing pulse steady.  He swallowed the bile which had risen in his throat.  He fought down the urge to vomit, conquered the tremor in his limbs.  He recalled his oaths, and his debt to Nileas.  He had no choice, he had to proceed.  He clenched his fist on the grip of the chainsword and thumbed the activation stud.  The blade snarled into life.  Leading with that august weapon, and with a prayer to the God-Emperor on his lips, he strode forward into the warp gate.
This looks so much shorter here! ;p Ah well.

A bit of something. ~NotAnselAdams might find this interesting. :nod:

Notes: Guilliman is the Primarch of the Ultramarines Legion, according to my research the Howling Griffons Chapter is derived from the Ultramarines.

For those not familiar, the Space Marines often swear oaths specific to the mission they are about to undertake, these are usually witnessed by their battle brothers and commemorated by an oath paper which is sealed to their armor.…

The description and function of the 'warp gate' is based on similar device found in the Gaunt's Ghosts novel His Last Command by Dan Abnett.

Rough concept art for the warp daemon:
WIP: Warp-Daemon by KreepingSpawn
and Hellan Ausrius:
Hellan Ausrius - Lineart by KreepingSpawn

Warhammer 40K, Astartes/Space Marines, terminology, universe, etc Games Workshop
text/chars =KreepingSpawn
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Well...its been a year since reach....since i lost many friends and family,since i lost the love of my live,and...since i nearly lost my entire squad.But,i made a soul promise,i'd protect them with my life. I've had to many losses,but that ends this day.Heh listen to me rant i forgot to introduce myself, my name is Jack Christopher noeland.I'm and ODST (orbital drop sock trooper)i was a army soldier on reach....but thats past me now,i cant tell you the horrible memories i saw on that planet.Well anyways let me give you the rundown.Im a commander,and im with a unsc division thats always been known as the best of the best 1st disivion wolf pack.In second in command,and my right hand man,is my childhood friend,Dibs dubbo.He's austrailian,mean,and ready to kill the covenant,just the soldier i need for the second in command.He carries a pretty mean shotgun,its from  when we where on reach,the special thing about it,is that it as tree barrels on it.He regrets what happened to us on reach,he wont let that happen again,not even if the entire damn covenant fleet stands in his way.Then we have seth matthews another childhood friend.Seth is the sniper of the squad,never leaves the pack without that rifle.He is on a soul search for his fiance monica,a researcher trying to find a cure for some virus.Hes hellbent on makeing sure he gets her back,not the covenat,or the innsurection will stop that.Then we have Dex,my little buddy,hes basically the pointman,equiped with a m237 light  machine-gun.Get him in range of the covies and he'll blow the covies away in a heartbeat.Hes also very trigger happy and has a hyper personality.Next up is blake,hes african american,likes heavy weapons,and is mainly known as" big brotha" as the marines call him.He uses the Spunker alot(the rpg) and the machine gun turrent detachable.His personality is happy,and caring,this guy is a true member of wolf pack,he never leaves a man behind.Then theres rickey,hes....well kinda the smart elect of the squad,he uses the assault rifle and the smg,he and dex dont useally get along either.This is my team,and i want to make sure that they dont end up like what happened on reach.Ill throw down my life if i have to to ensure that.Well thats all i can write for today,it seems we got inssurectionist activity,time to get the wolfs prepped for the hunt.

Jack Christoper noeland out.
here it is finally.the proluge to ODST Brotherhood my odst story.The proluge is based of jacks point of view.the rest of the sory will be in thrid person.and yes for now they are fighting against rebels.

leave a comment if you want.
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The feminine figure laid on her bed, examining the white walls of her quarters,seeing all the pictures that crest had drew for her.On these pictures where figures,two with black banged hair, one with white hair with silver streaks,and one with a red goatee,short hair,and a sinister hell-hound smile,like that of a hungry wolf stalking its prey,getting ready for the kill.

She turned on her back and looked at the white ceiling,sighing.She began to close her eyes as everything around her went silent and dark.

She awoke in a forest that seemed endless.The trees where all dead,gray,lowering down sometimes.She picked herself up and began to walk trying to find anyone in this dead forest.Suddenly a figure was seen,a small girl.She came close to her and reached out for her.

It was no female,it was a silhouette of a young girl.She wore a white dress,and held a stuffed bear.She began running.

The female however looked at her hand,and saw a JERICHO MK IV claw.She saw it, she was in the Shinagami armor,her name written on her shoulder pad,was named"Sayia".

Sayia hesitated and began to follow the girl. A few whispers began to say and repeat various things and phrases,many included" Death will come for you" "You cannot escape the wolfs hunt" You cannot escape us." "You killed us Sayia, for the true evil."

Sayia shook her head and ran, she saw the girl and reached out for her.Her red eyes glowed going to her,then suddenly the girls shadow disappeared and revealed itself, it was Sayia when she was younger.

Sayia backed up,shadows consumed her, she struggled to find light and turned seeing a red glare.Standing there...was a figure...with red mist glowing around him he wore black clothing,his black hair had red mist traveling through the figures hair.His eyes glowed red revealing them has he looked up.

Sayia was a bit entranced by this then noticed his hands, where glowing red claws dripping with red plasma. She turned and saw a door and ran to it, but the figure was behind her walking slowly.Sayia tried to open the door,then it opened.

She ran out,looking back a few times in the old hallway the figure kept getting closer and closer,She finally smiled once she saw her friend,the ONI shadow lowering his hand smiling at her,his eyes hidden in darkness.The sound of a pelican roared through the hallway, light shined into the dark and sinister hallways.

Sayia reached up,and before she grabbed her friends hand,he pulled back,looking at her frowning.She frowned, tears rolled down her face.Suddenly she fell, free falling for at least a solid minute then landed in something red.

She got out of the blood of red substance and saw,blood,she stepped out,but a hand grabbed her, she noticed the wall was covered in bodies, bodies of people the shadow had told her to "eliminate for a better world".

Sayia looked around as they all groaned,wanting to rip her apart for killing them.sayia stood in the blood,and was suddenly blinded by a white glow.She ran to it thinking the shadow had returned to her, She hugged the figures clothing smiling thinking she was safe as the figure patted her head.She looked up,and suddenly frowned.

It was the figure,or as many ONI operatives call him"DEATH" the rage...of sorrow.

She tried to back away,then suddenly a hand went through her chest.It was DEATH,rage of sorrow.

Sayia looked up seeing its eyes, glowing red,words written in rage lettering wher ein hsi eyes, around his mouth where red stitches blood dripped down the edges of his mouth.His smile scared sayia,she saw his hand moved upward,then drove down into her eyes,blackness surrounded her.

Sayia woke up sweating she held her head in her hands and began to pant.She felt her heartbeat,it was accelerated. She sighed,same nightmare she had a few nights ago,it was a reoccurring nightmare.One she did not want to experience.

Sayia turned to the door hearing a few knocks.She waited for someone to say something.

"Sayia?"a young female voice said quietly.

"Its and the others have an objective to do today....".crest  quietly said looking down.

Sayia stood up getting off her bed,and walked to the door.She opened it as crest looked up,greeting her with a smile."Hi,sleep well?"Crest said closing her eyes and standing with her arms behind her back giving off her heart warming smile.

Sayia looked down at her,she treated crest like a younger sister,she put her hand on top of crest's head.

"I slept well."Sayia said in her emotionless voice.Sayia hated lying to crest,but she didn't want her worrying about her.Sayia wanted crest to be happy,even if she has to lie in order to preserve that happiness.

"Good!"crest said bouncing up."I'm happy you got good sleep too".She said while smiling warmly to Sayia.

Sayia looked over and saw a young boy walking over,she saw he already had his cloth wrappings over his left eye,his hood was down.

"Hello sayia"He began."Hello crest"

Crest ran over and hugged the young man. Giggling in the process.

"Fear! your actually awake for once."Crest said while putting her finger on her chin." I wonder if that's meaning something."She commented then looked at him sternly.Have you been practicing black magic? hmm?"She said putting her hands to her side,and putting her face in front of his.

"N-no!"fear replied backing up."I just went to sleep early i swear!"

"Hmm..."crest said,making sure he wasn't lying."Okay! your telling the truth. good work fear! a good soldier has to be up and early!"Crest said making a triumphant pose pointing to the sky.

"Yeah....your telling me."Fear said looking to sayia."Also,Sayia mam.The shadow has requested us for a task.I wasn't told anything else,but to report to the briefing room."

"Crest had told me.Shall we go then?And where is Cerberus?"Sayia asked.

"Already there,and already armored and always...hes ready to kill."Fear said frowning.

Crest froze up at cerberus's name.She feared him greatly seeing the horrors he does to soldiers on the battlefield.Even their own.

"Uh...sorry crest,sayia lets go."Fear said nodding to the hallway.

Sayia nodded,then looked at crest.In return crest looked back up and smiled.She gave Sayia a small hug."Be careful...okay?"She said worryingly.

Sayia nodded,then turned and began to walk to the briefing center.
My new side story about the ONI shinagami's and what they are capable off.

Its a dark spin of my story Brotherhood.The shinagami's are called to the briefing room for one of the shadow's dark operations.What does it hold? what secrets will be broken? we will find out more in the next chapter.

(occ took a while for me to write. i hope you guys enjoy this.)
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I've noticed a trend of having dictator/world-ruler/people in a position of power characters. Normally, I find these types of characters fascinating - I love hearing the minutiae of how they keep their regime in control, the cults of personality they develop, their rise and their fall ... it's one of the reasons I love 1984 so much; is Big Brother real? Did he even exist in the first place? Who is the real leader of Oceania? Unfortunately, I've begun to see it addressed shoddily and without much thought, so I decided to make a guide of sorts (more like a glorified checklist) for anyone who is curious on how to develop their dictatorial character, and to make them realistic.

1. Why do they want power?

I have seen this written away with, "because they want to control everyone", which is true to an extent with many historical figures who were dictators, and also fictional characters. However, this often goes much deeper than "wanting to control everyone" or "they're mad, I tell you! MAD!". What are their reasons to act this way? Why did they seize power? I'm pretty sure the majority of us wouldn't mind being waited upon hand on foot as we see the territories we own slowly expanding under the steady march of one hundred-thousand booted feet. The difference is, most of us see this as purely fanciful, a bureaucratic nightmare, and just plain stupid.

Yes, I know generally, this is true, but is normally hidden by other reasons, the most common one being, "I want to make the world a better place. I will build a utopia". This simple idea can be expanded wonderfully - what exactly does your character dislike about the world at the minute? A broad spectrum of ideas can be considered - is it poverty? Ideological differences which keep people from getting along? The current government's policies? Obviously, these are very simple, and can once again be expanded - what caused the poverty, has it directly affected your character? Why are there radical idealogical differences, does your character hold fast to one particular idea? Do many people like the current government, are they ineffectual, are they too effective?

Worried you don't know enough about either politics or history to work this out neatly? Well, learn! You'll find it much more satisfying to be able to fill in plot holes you'd left before, and find it gives your character more personality. You can link them more personally to their regime, things will make more sense, their past can be expanded - what started this desire, why did they choose to act on it?

2. How will they gain power?

This next point is linked in closely to the first - how will takeover be achieved? I've seen a lot of, "oh, they just walk up and kill the previous government", but in reality, this step up is often hard worked for (over several years, maybe even decades), and much more subtle. Of course, former leaders have been murdered for the new position, but it still has to be worked for - do they have allies in the right places? What do the public think of them? Would people be desperate or willing enough to follow?

Generally, for a big political change like this to happen, an equally large catalyst is needed - for example, the famine of 1889 in Russia could be argued to have started the rumbling that lead to the Revolution in the 1910s. A lot of characters I see don't have such developed worlds in which they inhabit - the loopholes that allow them to gain support aren't specified, or make little to no sense. Was there a crucial international affair handled terribly by the government, perhaps, or a history of only a privileged few being treated well?

Hitler didn't just storm in and become Führer, Mao didn't just walk in and tell the whole of China that they would be going from aristocratic rule to Communism; these things take planning, often years of being patient and gathering followers have to precede becoming the leader. I don't care how powerful your character is, I don't care if his only weakness is glitter, he is not going to become leader by (presumably) charging in and going "I rule, now!". Which neatly brings me to my next point.

3. The Cult of Personality fail

Another thing I notice is barely touched on, or completely messed up. Yes, your character can be an unpleasant person - they can be short tempered, arrogant, and childish, but unless they project an image of benevolence and care for their citizens, there will be widespread political unrest. Look at propaganda used by real life dictatorships - the leader is often presented as unable to do wrong, or even godlike - they may be pictured as almost Jesus-like saviours of their people, maybe shown as omniscient - in 1984, Big Brother is said to see whatever you do, and as you can tell from Winston's distress, many think he can know the thoughts of his subjects, even though he obviously can't.

How does your character present themselves when in public? As a passionate warrior for their people, or a generous and kind-hearted aide? Do they stay out of the public eye, feigning immortality long after they die, or do they live in it, kiss babies, and embrace adults? And what about out of the public eye? How do they cope with the stress of keeping an entire nation in adoration?

Read this short article on the Cult of Personality, and see how Stalin is presented; compare this to your character, or character in progress -…

4. How do they hold their position of power?

The Nazi Gestapo, the Hungarian AVH, the Soviet KGB, all were used to simultaneously terrify and control the citizens. I don't see these types of organisations too much around the types of character this article was written to help improve. Once again, this tends to hinge around world building more than anything. Sometimes a vague secret police is mentioned and then handwaved away, but is never again felt, there never seems to be fear hanging heavily on the shoulders of the characters, they're just brought in where the plot calls for it, and are often nameless, faceless, and we have no idea what they actually do. Why are people so scared? I know sometimes less is more, but still, vague ideas as to what they do should be addressed.

How does your dictator remove potential opposition? Through careful political manouvering, quiet assassination, or blatant murder? How do they crush revolution? Do they outright kill dissenters, or do they turn revolutionaries against each other. Do they prevent it by drugging the water, through propaganda depicting rebels as inhuman, wanting only to tear families apart?

This point links in very neatly with the Cult of Personality - if you develop one well, the other comes much easier. Both are great opportunities to show your character cracking down on what their people do, to show their nastier side.

5. What will they do in power?

Once again, there are a lot of characters I have seen that do nothing in power, apart from maybe gain new lands (without the stresses of war) or have statues of themselves built. There is little to no detail on home affairs, diplomatic relations with other countries/nations, or even smaller things such as healthcare or tax. What are their policies? What do they tell their people they'll improve upon or change? Once again, this may seem intimidating if you don't know much about politics, but it can be easily sorted out, and adds more flesh to the world and your character, tells the reader of their personal beliefs.

Look at the policies historical dictators have stood for, other than war or their own gain. How did they carry on convincing their people everything is done for the country? How did they deal with war? How will your character? Will they go with diplomacy and creating allies, or fighting other countries into submission? How will they deal with the economic strains of war?

6. One-sided characters.

Something I have noticed happening with 'evil' characters in a position of power, is that they don't really do all that much evil. Take Galbatorix from the Inheritance Cycle as an example - what has he done that is so awful? We're told something vague about taxes being high, but Eragon's supposedly poor family can eat chicken for breakfast and have spending money at a fair. We're never really shown what he does that's so awful - for all we know, the Varden could be a terrorist organisation, whilst Galbatorix raises taxes to give his subjects a higher standard of living.

Another simplified version of "they're evil" I often see is something like this -
My character is evil and awful and a bad person.
They kill babies.
Because they're evil and awful and a bad person.

It's very rare this is expanded upon. Very few reasons are given for atrocities. Even something as simple as paranoia could work, but is very rarely mentioned.
We don't often see another side to the character, just the stereotypical cold bad boy, occasionally. We never see how they act with family, or friends, or if they're actually a decent person with twisted ideals. Someone can still be pleasant and a bad person, in the same way someone can be moody and a good person. People who don't develop their characters very well often stick with making the bad guy a one-sided 'bad' character because it's much easier than giving them a personality, dreams, hopes, goals and quirks that can also be associated with a 'good' character.

In conclusion, I hope that this guide helps people with characters they want to make a bit more solid and realistic.
A guide to making decent ~ruler~ characters, because people fuck what could be interesting characters far too often.
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"Should we all go?" Splash asked.

"No, that'd be too dangerous." Vex sighed, he looked at Arya and then her body, Arya gave him a look and Vex caught it.

"No, no, maybe you should go because you're smaller." Vex suggested and Splash scoffed.

"But she's a female!"

"That doesn't matter. She's smaller so she has less a chance of being seen and-," Vex started but Splash cut him off.

"I don't care if she's smaller! I'm smarter!" Splash hissed.

"If zombies go after her, she probably has a chance of slipping between small spaces and getting away. Or even hiding." Vex hissed and Splash folded his arms.


Arya opened the back of the truck, the streets were deserted and a few of the shops windows had been smashed open. Vex handed her a large bag, "Just incase you find anything. Just get things that you think we'd need."

She slipped out of the truck with her bow in hand and the bag strapped to her back. Vex and Splash watched her as she pushed open the stores door gently and slid inside.


Arya ducked low as she began piling items into the bag, not really caring about labels or what they were for. The bag was about a third full when she heard noises coming from the back of the store.

She set the bag down and had her bow poised as she neared the noises. There was a loud smash and a gurgle that made Arya's skin crawl, she closed her eyes once and then rounded the corner, her eyes drew wide as she saw a zombies head get smashed in right in front of her eyes. Blood splattered over her face and her body froze.

A gun was suddenly pointed towards Arya's head, her brain shouted commands to the rest of her body but she was just unable to move.

"Blimey, you scared me half to death. I thought you were another one of those things." When the gun was lowered, she realized that she'd been holding her breath and Arya looked to the owner of that gun.

He wasn't much older than herself, his hair was black and reached his collarbones, he had shark bite piercings and she could just see some tattoos down his arms under his t-shirt.

"Get that thing out of my face. Hello?" He placed his hand on Arya's shoulder and dodged past her bow, she lowered it slowly and watched the guy.

"What are you doing here? I thought everybody would've made a run for it." He questioned but Arya was just frozen in place.

"I-I-," Arya stuttered and then the guy threw a rag at her.

"You've got blood all over your face." Arya set her bow down slowly and wiped the rag over her face, she peeked at the mysterious guy as he grabbed a few things off of shelves.

"I was getting supplies for my group, they're waiting for me out there. I was packing things when I heard noises so I went to investigate." Arya gasped.

"Be glad I didn't pull the trigger." He said, "My names Brutal, how about you?"


"Sweet." Brutal said, he continued grabbing things and Arya moved back over to her bag.

She shoved more things in there and then looked out the window for zombies.

"Hey! I have no ride out of here and no one else-," Brutal called from behind a shelf and Arya sighed, "You could tag along with us, just come outside and I'll speak with the rest."

She took long strides towards the truck and handed Vex the bag who was waiting patiently, "I found someone else in there, he nearly shot me in the face but he's a pretty decent guy, he's coming out now."

"He nearly shot you in the face and yet… he's a pretty decent guy?" Splash laughed and jumped out of the truck beside Arya as Brutal left the store with a bag of his own.

"Yeah, I invited him to come along." Arya raised her eyebrows as Vex jumped out too.

"Hey." Brutal nodded towards Splash and then Vex, Splash's eyes darted from Brutal's head to toe as he studied him intently.

"What's your name?" Vex asked.

"You can call me Brutal, you?" Brutal held out his hand.

"Vex." Vex shook Brutal's hand and then looked at Splash who still had his eyes glued on Brutal.

"How about you?" Brutal looked at Splash.

He didn't reply, his mouth was skewered into a tight line and his eyes were cold.

"He's Splash." Arya sighed, she jumped up into the back of the truck.

"Why do you call yourself Brutal? What's your real name?" Vex asked.

"It was my nickname on xbox live. I'd prefer that you didn't know my real name." Brutal sighed.

"That's okay." Arya assured, she sat down in the truck and rested her head in her hands. "Are you okay?" Vex asked her.

"Yes, I just have a headache and…" She whimpered as images of her father being torn apart by the hungry dead rushed through her head, she punched the floor of the truck and the cool metal vibrated beneath her.

"I did nothing to save him!" She cried.

"Save who? What?" Vex jumped up next to her and rested a steady hand on her shaking shoulder as Splash and Brutal watched on in confusion.

"My father. He was screaming for me to help him and I did nothing!"

"Sh, it's okay." Vex sat next to her and put an arm around her shoulders. "Splash, Brutal, take one of these bags and gather some more supplies from any of the shops." He added.

Splash groaned and he grabbed the bag, "We wont take too long." He hissed.

Brutal shrugged his shoulders and followed Splash into a small abandoned shop across the road.

"Now, that isn't your fault. If you did jump in and save him, you could've been killed." Vex squeezed Arya's shoulders and she looked up at him through thick strands of her hair.

"I shouldn't feel so guilty for that slob, but I just can't help it!" She cried; Vex hushed her.

"I know, I know." Vex cradled her as if she were a small child, she cried into his shirt and her hands clenched the fabric on his back.

"It'll pass." He hushed again.

"He was such a bad father to me, he used to beat me if I didn't complete things up to his standards." Arya whispered.

"Then you shouldn't feel guilty, Arya, I know this sounds bad, but he deserved to be torn apart, every single inch of pain he felt, he deserved it for what he used to do to you. But you don't have to worry anymore, he wont lay a finger on you." Vex hugged her and then pushed her back to look at her face.

"Trust me, my mother used to beat my younger sister when I still lived at home. I wanted to smash her face against a wall. I hope to god that she got what she deserved." Vex looked into Arya's eyes with his own and he grabbed her chin.

"I'll protect you, Arya." He promised.

She gave a half smile and he stood up, he smiled down at her before jumping from the back of the truck and moving to where the others had gone.

Arya stayed put and she wiped her eyes with her sleeve, she was about to move to sit in the passenger seat but something caught her eye.

Her head darted to the side and she gasped in horror, lumbering around the corner, was a giant mob of zombies.

And they were headed straight for the store that the boys had disappeared into.
Autumn is now Arya.
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Draw your swords you murderous men.
Draw nigh with your arrows dipped in poison.
Let your lying lips come close to my ear.
Let your deceitful eyes meet mine.

The time has come once again.
The time to reveal your true nature.
You live to shed blood, my "friends".
You live to watch me suffer.

Come now, and pierce my heart once again,
with words that slaughter my very soul;
that cause my life to bleed out inside of me,
with rivers of tears that seem to have no end.

Come. Stare at my suffering,
with pitiless eyes that know no empathy;
with lips shaped in joyous smiles.
With laughter and joy, dance around my pain.

Your venomous words penetrate my being.
I stumble from all the pain of your poison.
Light and life is slowly drained.
Shrouding me in darkness…

Have I pleased you now my "friends"?
In the midst of my pain, I see you laughing.
Surely my suffering was not in vain,
For you are happy.

The earth is made drunk by my blood.
Blood shed to satisfy your evil thirst.
You wield weapons that have the power of life and death.
And with them…you choose to slaughter my soul.

I, your friend, lie here dying.
Drowning in a pool of bloody tears.
Tears, my heart weeps.
Blood, my shattered soul sheds.

Remove the veil of deceit from your eyes.
Let my shed blood whisper to your conscience.
Let it convict your heart
And open your eyes to see the evil you've done.

See the destruction and desolation your tongue has caused.
Be not ignorant of thy bloody deeds any longer.
See the murderer that you are.
Confront your true nature.

With your tongue you have offended.
With your tongue you have slaughtered souls.
You wield a most powerful weapon.
Yet you have chosen to drench your words in venom.

You are wolves in sheep's clothing.
You dress as a saint,
But play the part of a devil.
Hypocrites! You deceive even yourselves.

You ensnare your souls and submerge it in poison.
You make clear thy path into everlasting torment.
You choose death by choosing evil.
Your ill spoken words bear witness against you.

Hasn't enough blood been shed?
Kill not yourselves by continuing down this path.
Bridle thy tongue and save us both the pain
Pain we shall both do better without.
This poem was written with certain of my "friends" in mind.

Special thanks to wongy06[link] and WOLFDRAGON[link] who both helped me overcome the writer's block i got when i first started this poem. :)
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Sitting in a palatial wardroom
Surrounded by bullet-ridden walls
He watches the latest soap opera
Tearing up as he learns
That Jeffy won't be playing football again

Fool the people
Play the game
Before you knock
Tell me my name

His guns are shiny
His shoes are too
His teeth are capped in platinum
His arms are tattooed

Fool the people
Play the game
Showering with filthy billions
Still you reek of shame

It's the U.S. on Line 1
It's the Kremlin on Line 2
Is my yacht ready
Make sure it's stocked with champagne

Fool the people
Play the game
Are you winning
As you run in vain?

Schmoozing with the debutantes
Of Princes in your land
They bow to kiss your ring
Isn't life grand?

As choppers cut down the rabble
Thrill to the 30mm auto-cannon serenade
Blood fills the gutters
And new orphans weep, afraid

Fool the people
Play the game
Satan has your table ready
At the Chateau d' Profane

Cameras flash as reporters query
Do you still intend to parry
The critique of your style?
Amid news of a vast campaign
To quell the voices of dissent?

It's all a part of your Master Plan
But wait, is that Geraldo?
He changed his hairpiece
Call my barber now

Fool the people
Play the game
Hide the bodies of the slain
Beneath the new playground

Ray-Bans are his shades of choice
Black Dragons are his smokes
His shoes are Stacy Adams
His suits are London bespoke

Sipping Louis XIII cognac
While watching reruns of Starsky and Hutch
He secretly enjoys our Western culture
That he publicly hates so much

Fool the people
Play the game
In his mind he's Jesse James
Riding a stallion named Infidel

Listen people; listen well!
I harbored you under my wings
In times of war I was faithful
To keep our nation sacred
Against the West's betrayals

Now you turn your back
On your Master and your Lord
You dare to bite the hand that feeds
You dogs! You shall taste my sword!

Fool the people
Play the game
Castrated are the dreams
Of a land under terror
All Rights Reserved. 2012.
Comments welcome

Dedicated to all those who have died under the regimes of bloodthirsty men and their reigns of terror...from Stalin to Ayatollah and beyond.

As serious as this is, I take pride in dark, dry humor that mocks those who were born without a conscience.
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Sayia walked through the halls,feeling the eyes of the oni soldiers upon her.It didn't   phase,or spook her,in  fact her presence spooked them,did she care?No sayia was used to people being afraid of her. She knew she had nothing to be afraid of,just loosing her fellow shinagami's.She had finally entered the shinagami's gathering room,where the shinagamis sat in chairs as the shadow projected a hologram showing their briefing, intelligence,enemy faction weapons and vehicles,and their targets.Sayia sat in her chair which overlooked the round room she stared down them watching them chat and converse,besides yuki who spent most of her time humming her mothers song she wrote for her when she was a little girl.

Suddenly a silhouette appeared  in the middle of them all, smoking a cigarette,it was their leader,the infamous ONI shadow.The leader of ONI

"Good evening shinagamis."he softly spoke,like a gentleman.

"Good evening shadow sir."they quietly replied.

"hump...whatever tell us what the fuck we gotta do,i skipped lunch im starving!"cerberus said leaning against his chair and spitting on the ground.

"All in time cerberus,all in time."the shadow replied calmly he walked around the room looking at each one."I'm sure all of you know,the freelancers are no more the force they where.Nothing more than fugitives on the run,No where to run,no where to seek refuge,and no where to hide."He said having a bit of happiness in his voice for once.

"Yes shadow we've known this for a while know, shades division is currwently hunting down the lone survivor."Sayia said calmly.

"Survivor?"the shadow asked while turning back then walking to sayia."I think not."

All the shinagamis where suprized,the freelancer where all killed at their base stationed on a world in reach's system.Shades forces had hunted them all down and eliminated them.

"Bullshit! that is total bullshit and you know it!"Cerberus angrily replied growling even.

"Down cerberus..."the shadow said very sternly starring at him causing him to back down and growl lowly.

"Now thats out of the way i shall continue."the shadow said walking to the map and touching holograms and moving them to the middle of the circular room.Showing a world, Genesis.A world beyond the sol system.A insurrectionist planet.

"Genisis."yuki said rising up."Why are the dogs attacking their? why are they hiding there? was anyone hurt?"yuki asked in worry.

"Yuki calm yourself everything is fine,the rebels are hiding them there giving them a home while they rest and heal.No one was hurt."the shadow replied taking a puff of the cigarette.

Yuki sat down and  relaxed herself taking control of her fast breaths."yes shadow i will follow your orders."

The shadow knew what was on Genesis that belonged to yuki,he knew the insurrectionist where keeping it under their command.Hence why he wanted to go there and get it back.

"The freelance dogs are hiding in Toksik, the capitol city of the continent "Serine".The ones i have selected to hunt them down are here."he touched the hologram it spun and morphed into a square showing the three shinagamis.Cerberus,Fear,and Sayia.

"Damnit..."yuki quietly said underneath her breath looking down knowing she couldn't go.

The shadow saw this and became a bit worried he clicked a button on his pedistool and listed yuki with crest and abigale.

"Oh theres...a certain "item" we have to acquire on this planet as well,it belongs to a individual in your room. Your orders will update as you go upon your search operation."he said while smiling a bit,putting out the bud of his nicotine stick.

Yuki looked up and became filled with joy.She didn't show it but she was happy,if it wasn't there she will understand.Every road must come to an end and she knew she would find what shes looking for.Even if it took her years to finally find it,she wouldn't give up.

"Thank you shadow sir"she said while gracefully bowing her head giving her, respects."I will do my part as leader of the second team while our other brothers and sisters are away eliminating the threat the UNSC has to throw at us.I give you my word i will not let you down.You or my brothers and sisters."she said while kneeling then rising back up."But abigales mental state is she battle ready to go on a operation?"yuki asked concerned.She didnt want another hanger incident again where the walls where paitned red with a soldiers blood.

"I asked our doctor and he has informed me she is ready on your way to the hanger please stop by her room and get her if you will im sure shes ready to test her new ability."The shadow simply remarked.

"Uh sure i gues me and crest will stop by seeing as abigale only responds to yuki sayia or crest.I attempted to take her hand and she bit me..."Fear said scoffing while smiling at crest who simply giggled and smiled back.

"You will do as the shadow asks,and you will not ask questions. Am i understood?"sayia said standing looking down at Fear with her petrifying gaze.

"Yes sister i will sister"Fear quickly replied.

"Alright shinagami's dismissed."the shadow said as they all turned and headed their seperate ways.Getting ready for the trip ahead,and their operation.

Yuki stayed behind and looked up at him not moving.

"Hmm?"the shadow asked while turning."Yuki is something of the matter?"

She looked down" I promise i will not let you down my shadow...i will make myself worthy of your command.

The shadow gave a small smirk and nodded." I'm most certain you will yuki.Now go to your brethren they need you.I know you will not let them down or me yuki.Good luck my dear."the shadow said as he smiled,and faded from view.

Yuki looked back up and turned, opening the door and headed to the armory,she was ready to take what was hers back,at any cost.

Fear and crest moved through the decks of the med lab. Oni soldiers talked about pains in their arms,cramps in their sides that wouldn't go away,bullets they took form wolf pack soldiers in Russia.The standard monday in oni.

"Gah,too many wounded ya know crest?"fear said trying to start a conversation, something he was very bad at.

"I guess, usually wounded soldiers enjoy having me around "she said walking putting her arms behind her head." Sadly i do not think i will be able to fight fact i may just remain in the transport."crest said looking down."It was an honor and a privilege just to come with you guys due to my illness."crest said looking at fear.

Fear looked down then into her eyes,he knew she was ill,and the shadow was doing all he could to prevent it from gettiing worse,its why he joined the shinagami's for crest and to protect her.

"But hey crest look on the bright side,i know you cannot fight and i know you want to to help us,but you at least don't have to stay here by yourself. You get to coem with us for once right?"Fear aid smileing

"Yes,your right i shouldn't keep getting all worked up over this lets go get abby and head to the others!"crest said cheerfully.

"Thats the crest i know."fear said smileign and following her like a shadow.

They soon entered the hallway to abigale her cell was located down it at the very end.It was a solid white hallway with guards at the plexi-glass  wall in the middle of the hallway.The guards steps to the side and let them through.Crest heard abigale sinign her dark lullabies she enjoyed them,Fear however shivered at her quiet singing.They neared the cell and stopped.There was a silence,the singing stopped, then suddenly quiet foots steps were heard coming close to the door.

"Who is it!?"a voice yelled.

"Hi abby its me crest!"she said not even phased.

Fear had his red phosphorous claw ready,it was hidden behind his rags and cloth he wrapped around it. minus the finger parts.

There was a quiet silence then suddenly the singing began.Crest opened the door and walked into the darkness of the room as fear followed.There they saw abigale on her back with her knees brought up to her chest in a fetal position singing her songs.Around her wall where drawing of her killing her parents,one shown her pulling their insides out as she smiled,while another one showed her burning them,a few others show her mutilating them and putting their bodies on display as she smiled.

"Hi crest! oh...hey fear..."she said looking to the side.For once her full body restraint suit was loose, she could walk and use her arms and legs.

Fear smiled and waved,very awkwardly,he didnt want to be around abigale at all,knowing she wanted to be alone with crest or sayia.

"So abigale,are you ready?"crest said while smiling.

"Eh?"abigale looked up having her head on the floor,they seemed to be upside down,her legs where bent and hanging off the wall her arms where spread out,she was happy to move around."What'cha mean by that?"she said flipping and coming straight up,she tilted her head in confusion ,one of her fanged teeth poked out of her closed mouth.

"Oh you and i get to go on a assignment together for once!"Crest said holding abigales hand.

"Hmm....we get to kill stuff?"she said looking at her.

"I'm sure there will be hostiles for you to take down."crest replied.

"Good its my....ya know...i need somethign to kill"she said bitting her fanged teeth together making a click noise.Crest giggled at this.

"Yeah i guess we get to work together huh abigale?"Fear said trying to be friendly.

"Hmmp...your going? perfect let me kill myself so i won't suffer."she said going to the door."Come on crest lets go!"she said happily taking her hand and running off.

"Whaaa!see you at the hanger fear!"Crest said as she was dragged out of the white hallway.

Fear sighed and shook his head"This is going to be one hell of a story isn't?"he said as he began to walk to the others,the shinagamis,his brothers and sisters,his family.
WHOA so much bigger chap,im sorry guys since this is a side story only gonna have about 10 chaps into it gotta make other chaos like this long.

as you can see the shinagamis are after the disavowed freelancers whats left of them in a search and destroy op.

as well as a search op for....whatever it is yuki wants to find..

this took me about an hour or so to write im glad wrters block is lifted.

and may i say its good to write this story again there will be more on the way my friends enjoy this!

odstshane out!
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If I died today.
Would your world sway?

If I died tomorrow.
Would your heart be filled with sorrow?

If I died a week from today.
Would you know what to say?

If I died a month from now.
Would your head bow?

If I died in a year.
Would you shed a tear?

Or would you say what a shame?
A life taken in vain.
Would you remember the good?
Or just focus on all my faults?
If I cried for help.
Would it be your ears that heard my pleas?

As I lay in a box of satin.
Would you claim that you were my best friend till the end?
Would you make my eulogy thoughtful?
Would you tell everybody what a caring girl I was?
Would you talk about my giving nature?
Or would you secretly slip in some story about you?

If I died today.
Would you have the heart to say?
How dare she?
Would you be mad at me?
Would hate me for leaving you?
Would you forget me because of your anger?

If I died today.
Would you even remember my name tomorrow?
for those time you just wonder if.........
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