Thread Rating:
  • 1 Vote(s) - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Internal Log, Unit Designate "Sledge"
#1
So I figured I'd share the journal I did for my warforged fighter in lwub's game.  Originally it was going to be an actual journal that he writes in, but that didn't really flow very well for me, and I eventually hit on the idea of it being an internal logging mechanism built into him.  Everything just sort of clicked at that point.  I think I've taken care of all the references to writing in the journal itself, but if you guys notice one please let me know.

UNIT DESIGNATE “SLEDGE”
INTERNAL LOG
DAY 21,915
TIME UNKNOWN (INTERNAL CHRONOMETER DAMAGED)
ENTRY 1
BEGIN DATA STREAM

There’s a festival. I always feel a little out of place at festivals. So much of organic celebration involves eating an obscene amount of food and drinking copious quantities of ale, and neither of those things are things I do. I could do them, sure, but I don’t. I tried once, actually. Some mercenaries I was working with about forty years back went on a pub crawl, and I decided to join them to see what it would be like.

It turns out it’s a lot like herding cats! Belligerent, foul-mouthed cats that throw up on your plating, knock your gyroscopic servo out of alignment, and try to put lampshades on your head. I haven’t done it since, nor will I, so being in the middle of a bunch of revelry ends up feeling uncomfortably voyeuristic. It doesn’t help that I’m a warforged whose production run was designed with mountain goliaths as inspiration. Big and strong is good…except when you’re trying to avoid calling attention to yourself in a land full of tiny halflings and slightly less tiny humans. Even worse is the location of this particular festival. Did we really have to do this in the shadow of that giant statue of Tunare? Do you have any idea what it’s like for a thing with no earthly idea whether he has a soul to be stared at by a giant representation of the mother goddess all night? It’s damned uncomfortable. I’ll be glad to put this little stop behind me.

I’ve picked up some new traveling companions. I’m still traveling with Ale, and that’s…going surprisingly well, actually. She doesn’t ask too many questions, and for that I will be infinitely and vehemently grateful. It’s been nice to have someone to talk to, and listening to her stories when she’s felt up to telling them has been nice. She’s…actually become a friend, though I’m sure she’d smirk at me and tell me to stop being so damned mushy if I actually said it. One thing I have noticed about her is that she doesn’t seem to be happy when people favor the elf side of her heritage. I’m not sure why, but it’s not really any of my business, either.

On the way to the festival, we ran into Sy’lara, the elven druid I found to heal Ale a few months back. I actually welcomed it, though I know Ale’s got some sort of problem with her. Last time we met, I was pleasantly surprised that she seemed more accepting than most of the nature-worshippers in the forests. Usually I have to check my plating for corrosion damage after dealing with them, but she seemed to just take me in stride. We even had some decent conversations. Perhaps we can talk a bit more, when Ale’s not being quite as surly.

And then there’s Jeb. When he mentioned the possibility of leaving Ak’anon in his last letter, I assumed he was just gripped by one of his sometimes bizarre-but-harmless gnomish fancies. It turns out, he was actually serious, and he spotted me pretty easily. That’s not surprising, considering I tend to stick out in a group of organics, especially since a good number of them were halflings. I had to make up a quick lie about how we knew each other, but luckily he played along. Not sure if Sy’lara or Ale bought it, but neither seemed to question it, so that’s fine.

And then there’s the kid. Kassidis, I think her name is? She’s young, even by organic standards, but seems to be about as strong as an ox. She’s, er, VERY enthusiastic about Ale, and it seems also ale, which is a play on words I privately find extremely amusing. She said she got kicked out of a monastery? I can’t imagine why. She seems very, well, very young, but decent enough. Though I suppose it could have something to do with the ale? I lose track of which kinds of organics drink themselves into stupors and which don’t, but I don’t think the stuffy ascetics were the former.

The road to the festival was largely uneventful other than that. Had a bit of an…incident with a broken wagon. The wheel broke of the wagon containing the ale for the festival, and we all decided to help. Ale negotiated a fee of one keg, while the kid and I held the wagon up while Jeb examined the wheel. He…well, this wasn’t his shining moment, and Sy’lara had to go find a spare wheel. When it came time to actually get the new wheel affixed, the muddy ground turned treacherous and…

…oh, sod it, I slipped and fell in the mud while the little human girl lifted the whole damn cart by herself. Damned embarrassing.

END DATA STREAM
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

APPENDING ENTRY 1

TIME UNKNOWN (INTERNAL CHRONOMETER DAMAGED)
ENTRY 1A

Amendment to my last entry: I would have been glad to put that place behind me, if it wasn’t because of a goblin raid on the festival and a nearby village. I’m not really unfamiliar with this, having been working primarily as a bodyguard for the past sixty years. Goblins are always a nuisance, but if you’re careful, they’re not usually too bad. Certainly not as bad as that village was. All those people…

…I hope no one intends on keeping this captive when we’re done with him…

END DATA STREAM
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

APPENDING ENTRY 1

TIME UNKNOWN (INTERNAL CHRONOMETER DAMAGED)
ENTRY 1B

When we returned from the burned out village, we found some elves. Sy’lara seems to know one of them, from the same tribe apparently. I didn’t think elves were tribal? I’d ask, but it seems a bit insensitive. Maybe I can ask Jeb when we have a moment’s peace, assuming he’s not arguing with his otter over names. There were two women and one man, a fellow by the name of Eldrin, who seemed a little more helpful than the others. He knew enough goblin to let us ask the little one we captured some questions, and also told us about a cave the goblins have up north. There was a little argument then about what we were going to do tomorrow. I want to go visit a little wrath on those goblins, Ale and Jeb didn’t seem to be taking sides, and Sy’lara apparently took leave of her senses due to the late hour. We’ll revisit the subject in the morning, after we get to the camp the other elves made with the survivors of the festival attack and get some rest.

END DATA STREAM
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

UNIT POWERING DOWN
ENTERING INACTIVE STATE
SENTRY MODE ACTIVE
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

UNIT POWERING UP

SENTRY MODE INACTIVE
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………........

UNIT DESIGNATE “SLEDGE”

INTERNAL LOG
DAY 21,916
TIME UNKNOWN (INTERNAL CHRONOMETER DAMAGED)
ENTRY 2
BEGIN DATA STREAM

I stand amidst the dead and feel their weight. The others might not feel it, but I do. Acutely. Below my feet there are forty-five people who will never smile, laugh, or live ever again. Whole breadths of experiences gone from the world forever. Who else could appreciate the horror of that as acutely as someone that doesn’t get to continue afterwards? There is no “everlasting soul” for me. There’s just an end. A stop. A period on a sentence, and when it’s done, what’s left of me? Just a hunk of scrap, that’ll be melted down or mounted on a giant concrete slab for tourists to gawk at and pigeons to shit on. Damned, foul, loathsome little pigeons.

Death’s different for those of us that don’t have the privilege of happy little fairylands their gods made just for them. So as I stand here, with the victims of senseless murder beginning the slow process of rotting away below me, I have no words. What words could accurately encompass the scope of this? The weight of it presses down on me and whatever tired, trite platitudes I could use fade. Words aren’t my thing. I’ll leave those to Ale.

The weight, I’ll give to the goblins.

END DATA STREAM
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

APPENDING ENTRY 2

TIME UNKNOWN (INTERNAL CHRONOMETER DAMAGED)
ENTRY 2A

Might need to practice repeating “don’t throttle the druid” in my head. I didn’t expect Sy’lara to feel the weight of those deaths like I do, but sweeping them under the rug with a single sentence and then trying to give me some condescending lecture about nature didn’t exactly do anything for my mood. It must be nice to be able to do that, to just handwave away all that death, when you have an afterlife to look forward to. I hope she’ll give as eloquent a eulogy at her friends’ funerals.

I tried to talk to her about it at first, I really did, but after that it was either start walking toward the goblin’s cave or call the druid some unkind names. I felt the former was more diplomatic, though I did let my anger get the better of me a tiny bit and snap some of my thoughts about afterlife privilege at her. I don’t think she heard me, which is more the better, there’d probably have been more condescending lectures. I’ll give her credit for coming along anyway, though she certainly wasn’t making any secret of wanting to just let the murdering bastards go. I’m rather glad my face is an expressionless metal plate right now, actually. We found some hostages, and if I could move my mouth I think Sy’lara would be able to tell how hard I’m thinking “I told you so” right now.

Looks like we’re ready to head out. I’ll log more when we get back out.

END DATA STREAM
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

INCIDENT LOG 
73.68.69.74.20.62.65.20.66.75.63.6b.65.64.20.79.6f
FOREIGN CONSCIOUSNESS DETECTED WITHIN UNIT
COUNTERMEASURES INSUFFICIENT
SECONDARY CONSCIOUSNESS DETECTED WITHIN UNIT
ANOMALOUS TEMPERATURE INCREASE IN POWER CORE COMPARTMENT
ANOMALOUS AUDITORY PHENOMENA DETECTED WITHIN UNIT
PRIMARY FOREIGN CONSCIOUSNESS EXPELLED
SECONDARY FOREIGN CONSCIOUSNESS NOT FOUND
TEMPERATURE OF POWER CORE COMPARTMENT RETURNING TO OPERATIONAL NORMALS
RECORDING OF ANOMALOUS AUDITORY PHENOMENA APPENDED IN INCIDENT LOG AS FOLLOWS:

“No. This is mine.”

END INCIDENT LOG
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

APPENDING ENTRY 2
TIME UNKNOWN (INTERNAL CHRONOMETER DAMAGED)
ENTRY 2B

WE NEED TO GET THE HELLS OUT OF THIS CAVE. NOW.

END DATA STREAM
Reply
#2
This was great to read, nice one.
Reply
#3
Alright, so here's entry 2.  It...goes to kind of a dark place at the end there, fair warning.  He's had a lot of hot button stuff thrown at him with no preparation, and that always tends to drag the existential crisis he tries to keep buried back to the surface.

UNIT DESIGNATE “SLEDGE”
INTERNAL LOG
DAY 21,917
TIME UNKNOWN (INTERNAL CHRONOMETER DAMAGED)
ENTRY 3
BEGIN DATA STREAM

Aleiln.

Has lost.

HER GODSDAMNED MIND.

…If she dies here, I’m going to kill her.

END DATA STREAM
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………....

APPENDING ENTRY 3

TIME UNKNOWN (INTERNAL CHRONOMETER DAMAGED)
ENTRY 3A

Jeb’s asleep. Just as well, I’m in no mood to talk. That cave…I don’t know what in the hells happened in there. In the last chamber of the cave, we found a cocky little shit of a hobgoblin, an altar with a kid on it, and a dead body. The hob, the bastard, managed to live long enough to kill the kid, then stabbed himself. He was saying something. At the time, I didn’t hear it. These goblins have just caused too much death around me, and seeing this one right in front of me, practically in arms reach…

I snapped and did something stupid. I don’t know if it was the hob’s chanting that did it, or if it was me, but…I threw the hob into the fire. All I could think about was annihilating every trace of that piece of dung. When I did, something…

Gods, I hate this. I hate being vulnerable. I was vulnerable for gods know how long in that village, powerless and barely aware while people pranced around me like I was a statue and pigeons shat all over me. I don’t even remember how long it was, how long I just stood there frozen and completely unable to do anything but inhale the stench of bird shit and drift in and out of lucidity. Being vulnerable always brings me back there, and I don’t like being back there. I get angry instead. Anger I can do something with. Find something that deserves to be hit, hit it until it stops, lather rinse repeat until I feel better. Sadness and…and fear, I can’t.

…but gods, I don’t think I’ve ever been so terrified.

One minute I was watching the hob burn. The next, something…something dark…was in my head, trying to take over, to suppress or outright kill my mind. That’s bad enough, since without a soul my mind is, well, me. My mind is all I’ve got. Without it, I’m just a hunk of scrap. That wasn’t all, though. Bad as it was, all of a sudden there was something else in my head. It said something about me being it’s, and even though I think it was supposed to be soothing, it really…wasn’t. What the hells was it? Is it still there now? And what did “this is mine,” even mean? I’m not a piece of property, to be owned. I’m not! I won’t ever be.

Not. Ever.

There was the sound of thunder. All the light in the room went out. Aleiln conjured up some magic moving lights, and Jeb tossed some sort of weird purplish fire into where the real fire used to be, and when they did, I could see some kind of evil smoke swirling around the hob’s body. I’m guessing that was the source of the evil that tried to take me over. Gods, I hope it didn’t leave any residue inside me when that second weird presence forced it out. Things were hectic after that. Jeb, Sy’lara, and Ale drove the smoke into the back of the chamber. I was able to get the bodies of the two hostages, the child and I’m assuming his father, and get them to the entrance.

And then Ale decided she was going to rush back IN to the chamber.

With the smoke swirling back around the hob’s body, actually going into it, Aleiln decided that the best idea was to run back into all that and actually put her hands on the hob’s body. I don’t know what in the hells she was thinking. Does she really care so little for her life that she’d throw it away for…for what? I don’t even know what she was trying to do, not that it’d matter if I did. Kassidis tried to stop her, I tried to yank her away, and even Sy’lara tried to drag her out. It took the smoke surging forward to make her back off and flee with the rest of us.

We’re going to need to have a talk about this later. I have two actual friends in this whole blasted world, and she’s one of them. I’m not going to just sit back and watch her die.

After we got out of the cave, we discussed what happened. Sy’lara figured out that hob was doing some kind of summoning, and the thing he was trying to summon was apparently Innoruuk. I generally keep my distance from all things religious, but even I know that name as the god of hate. Who…I may have inadvertently given a body to use in this world. …Who might not even be here at all if I didn’t throw that hob into the fire.

The girls left to get a cleric. Jeb and I stayed behind to watch the cave. He put some kind of magic on it he says will alert him if anything goes in or out. I told them I’d just watch if the thing tried to leave…and it’s a good thing none of them had time to probe at that, because it was so much bullshit it could have been used to fertilize a farmer’s crop. Maybe this isn’t my fault…but it certainly feels like it is. I’m not just going to let that thing walk out of there. There might not be much I can do against…whatever aspect or avatar or whatever it is of a god, but I’m damned well going to try.

END DATA STREAM
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

APPENDING ENTRY 3

TIME UNKNOWN (INTERNAL CHRONOMETER DAMAGED)
ENTRY 3B

Jeb’s awake. Says the spell triggered. Guess I’ll find out what happens to me when I die a lot sooner than I was hoping.

END DATA STREAM
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

APPENDING ENTRY 3
TIME UNKNOWN (INTERNAL CHRONOMETER DAMAGED)
ENTRY 3C

“Don’t let me die,” he says. And then slumps against me with his eyes rolled back, dead to the world. What the hells, Jeb.

END DATA STREAM
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

APPENDING ENTRY 3
TIME UNKNOWN (INTERNAL CHRONOMETER DAMAGED)
ENTRY 3D

We missed it, apparently. It isn’t making a secret of which direction it’s going, though. Of course it picks the way leading to that place. Hope we can stop it before it gets there.

END DATA STREAM
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

APPENDING ENTRY 3
TIME UNKNOWN (INTERNAL CHRONOMETER DAMAGED)
ENTRY 3E


The others are back. They have a Halfling cleric with them, so maybe we actually have a chance of casting this thing back to whatever pit it came from now. They don’t ask how we know where it’s going, which is good. I trust Ale enough to let her in on that, but the others…maybe someday, but not yet.

END DATA STREAM
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

APPENDING ENTRY 3
TIME UNKNOWN (INTERNAL CHRONOMETER DAMAGED)
ENTRY 3F

The cleric’s dead. The guilt for this one’s not going anywhere for a long time, I think. I’ll have to find out who her next of kin are.

END DATA STREAM
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

APPENDING ENTRY 3
TIME UNKNOWN (INTERNAL CHRONOMETER DAMAGED)
ENTRY 3G

The thing is dead. Or…re-dead. Or whatever. Maybe it would feel more like a victory if Tacara’s corpse wasn’t twenty feet away from me. We need a rest, and then I’m taking her back to her people. I don’t know what I can say to them. “Sorry I handed the god of hate a body to run around in.”? “Sorry it used that body to murder your friend/sister/mother/cousin/organic familial relation.”? None of it seems right. None of it makes sense.

Most of the time, when there’s blood on my hands, it belongs to someone that richly deserved it be spilled. I know how to deal with that. Tacara’s…I don’t know how to…justice isn’t supposed to be like…there hasn’t been anything that…

GODSDAMNIT.

…times like these, I’m reminded I’m not really a person. I pretend I fit in, like I belong, like I understand, and sometimes I tell that lie so well I convince myself. Then something like this happens and I can’t process it and I’m reminded that no matter how real the hollow pit in my chest feels, no matter how thick the lump in my throat seems, none of it is real. All of it is just gears and wires and cogs and little bits of magic and programming stringing it all together. Just a shiny metal illusion that’s going to vanish as soon as my power core runs out.

Ale wants to talk. I suppose we should get to that. Just as soon as I can muster up the energy to lie to myself again.

END DATA STREAM
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)