A war of a thousand centuries

In a world where technology is both advanced and primitive. In this world many countries have declared war against eachother for reasons long forgotten. A war that has already lasted for hundreds of years.

Emile is a normal person or so it seems. After being accused of stealing he is forced to join the army and participate in this war.

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1. The Streets Make A Lovely Home

Emile felt the cool breeze against his cheek. The breeze brought a strong scent of coal and oil mixed with the lovely smell of trash and lost dreams. All of these smells mixed together to form a cacophany of misery. The smell of Etza. Or rather the slums of Etza. But to Emile it was the smell of the town, Etza. Afterall he had never been to the fancy parts of the town. If it had any. Etza was a sad little town that lay next to the Great mines of Alruba. So the smog and constant banging of machinery was a trade off for the safety and protection that being close to an area of military interest brought.

 

Emile rose from the nice pile of trash bags he'd slept on and started to go towards the outskirts of the slums to scavenge for treasure. To most people they wouldn't be treasures. More like junk or rubbish. But to Emile? A piece of bread or a steel pipe was a godsend. Emile scavenged through trash with his dirty hands and took everything that you could eat without dying or that looked atleast a little valuable. After a few hours his bare feet hurt like he had been walking on hot coal so he decided to head to the black market to sell what he could in change for food and atleast somewhat clean water. 

 

The black market vendor was a large strongly built man probably more than 2.5 meters in height. He looked at Emile like he was trying to figure out his value in gold. (which he was). The vendor thought about taking the kid and selling him to the miners for maybe 10 gold coins. But he changed his mind when the stab wound in his gut remembered him what happended last time he tried that.

 

"Alright what have you got for me today kiddo?" The vendor barked at Emile.

"Here take a look" Emile said with a smile on his face as he opened up the garbage bag he was carrying and held it up for the vendor to see.

"I can't see properly can't you just give me the bag and let me look for myself?" The vendor said with a smirk.

"I remember what happened last time I did that" Emile replied. The smile on his face hadn't changed even a little, if anything it had grown even larger.

"Keep that up and you might be a buissnessman when you grow up kiddo. Now then, you got wares I got food. From what I see from up here you have scrap metal worth 5 silver coins. That translates to 1 loaf of bread." (For 5 silver coins you could easily get 7 loafs of bread)

"An entire loaf of bread?! Today has to be my lucky day! Could I maybe take away some of the loaf and get some water instead?" Emile asked without knowing the value of bread or anything in general. 

"You got yourself a deal. You get half of the loaf and 1 liter of water." (you could get water for free at the wells spread throughout the city)

"Thank you very much!" Emile gave the bag to the vendor and got his bread and water in return.

He had gone through this simple routine every single day for his entire life now. But today was a little different. After Emile got his bread and water he went on his merry way home. By home Emile meant the closest most comfortable garbage pile that was a safe distance for the black market or other people living in the slums. While he was walking a police officer walked out from a nearby bar. 

 

Tipsy? No. Drunk? No. Smashed? No. Clobbered? Absolutely.

 

The officer quickly walked no tripped towards Emile in an aggresive manner.

 

"Whaet? Ya Lookin.....at..Meh? Yah Gaut SuM NurVe apPRoching mEh loihek *hick* thAt yuuuu Focin kiD" The police officer was so absolutely hammered that he had to brace himself on his baton to keep his nose from having a nice long conversation with the dirt.

 

"What? No I don't know what you're talking" "HAVen'T yoUr m-MuUmeh Toght yuououu to Not interrupt yEr elDerS? I goess I'lL Hav tu Kich youuu aRe ASS SinCe Yer mUm hasnnt!"  The police officer moved towards Emile with his club raised high above his head and his left arm streched out ready to grab him.

 

Emile placed his bread and water on the ground and looked at the police officer. The officer had his baton high up ready to smash down with massive force and his left ready to shoot out and grab him. This stance was simple but effective at dealing with smaller opponents. The intimidation from the baton would make the opponent focus on it making it easy to sweep in with a grab from the left. Not only grabbing the oppponent but also having a strike charged up and ready. This wouldn't be effective against Emile though. He had lived on the streets his entire life and had plenty of experience. Not to mention how drunk the officer was. You hade to give the officer some praise though, even when he was that drunk he was capable of using some of his training. 

 

The officer smashed down towards Emile while shooting his left arm forward with a grab. Emile ducked under the baton like a scared rabbit fled down it's hole and shot himself like a spring past the officers right side. Dodging the entire assualt. Emile kept doing this over and over like an unfair version of whack-a-mole until the officer collapsed from exhastion and alcohol. Mostly alcohol.

 

After the officer collapsed Emile dusted himself off and picked up his bread and water. After Emile had walked for a few minutes he saw something move in the corner of his eye and immediately jumped forward and spun around thinking it was the officer that had made a miracle recovery. But what he saw instead wasn't an drunk and angry officer. It was a dog. It had long beautiful legs and big paws. Its eyes were like yet black diamonds swallowing every single bit of anger and stress you had, replacing them with pure happiness. It. Was. Absolutely. Adorable.      

"You look like you're hungry. Would you like some bread and water? I'm not that hungry anyway." Asked Emile like he was expecting the dog to respond with a witty comment.

 

"You can see my bloody ribs. What do you think you stupid human?" Emile said to himself in a goofy voice while feeding the dog all of his bread and water.

 

After eating the dog looked far happier (if that was even possible). The dog licked Emiles face and they walked together for a while until Emile saw a huge poster on a wall. Emile loved reading so he immediately dusted it off until it was readable. The poster had a huge soldier on the front. He was dressed in a large green leather coat which was buttoned up so high it covered half of his nose showing only his eyes,combat boots,white gloves,a green cap that left a few strands of white hair out. His clothes were covered in various symbols and medals. His arms were crossed and he stood in a way that eminated superiority. His eyes were a bright red and were extremely serious. Even though the coat was loosely fitting and quite large it was easy to see how he was muscular and how his body was honed for maximum efficency in combat.

 

Emile looked at the poster in awe. He started to read the text on the poster aloud in the same stance with a deep and slight raspy voice trying to immitate the man on the poster. 

 

"I High Commander *Annhiliator* Strhona Want YOU To Join Grelufts Supreme Military Academy To Aid Your Country! Your Motherland! You Too Can Join The Glory!"

 

In the dogs eyes Emiles performance was quite bad. It looked like a homeless child trying to look cool infront of a poster and failing miserably (that was exactly what was going on). To compare the man on the posters performance with the kid. It would be best be described as a dissapointing wet fart from the kid compared to the mighty roar from the poster. But the dog prefered the kid over the man on the poster anyway. Not only did the kid feed her, the man on the poster. There was something about him. Just looking at a picture of that man triggered her most basic fight or flight instincts. Every nerve in her body was screaming at her to run. To escape. To hide....

 

Emile thought about the message on the poster. He didn't want to harm people. He didn't want to be the bad guy. He wasn't going to join that Greluft place. He was happy where he was. In the slums. Him and his new friend.

 

"Do you have a name?" Emile asked the dog.

*whimper*

"I'll take that as a no then. How about. Let's see. How about Amy?"

*Woof!*

"I'll take that as a yes"

 

Having Amy was a massive help to Emile. He found much more food and scrap metal to sell thanks to her nose. The vendor wanted to buy her for 10 loafs of bread and 5 liters of water but he refused. She was a friend. A good friend. You don't sell friends and you don't buy them either. That was a motto Emile had decided to live by after being offered food in change for Amy. It was a really easy motto to follow though. Like a new years eve promise that you can actually follow.

 

When he and Amy were walking home one day two officers approched them. He recognised one of them. It was the officer that tried to attack him. He didn't recognize the other one. 

 

"Well look who it is. It's the little brat that attacked me a couple of days ago. I have to applaud you though. You did manage to beat me. But I have an image to keep. Here catch." The officer threw an orange at Emile. Emile caught it. 

"Good catch. Now come with us." He put his hand on his gun to show that he wasn't messing around. 

"Amy. Wait here I'll come back. I promise" Emile said as he walked away towards the officers.

 

The officers lead him to one of the main market places in Etza. "HEY! You there at the fruit stand! We caught this thieveing little rat here shoplifting from you!" The other officer yelled. At first Emile didn't understand what was going on but he soon realised that they had given him an orange that the fruitstand was selling. They framed him.

 

Before the shopkeeper got close enough to punch him or the police officers managed to grab him he ran. He ran as fast as his thin legs would take him. Past the market further into Etza. Into undiscovered territory. The officers ran after him, he ran faster. He took a corner. And another one. A left. Another left. A right. He slid under a horse. Run. Run faster. Goddammit run faster. He took another left into a large street. And stopped........... What....What was that thing? It was taller than the buildings. 15 meters atleast. It was formed like a human with an extremely thin frame. It was made out of metal with a brownish gold colour. From every orofice on it's body massive amounts of steam was leaking out. It's face was a huge metal plate with four telescopes that moved indefinetly of eachother. They probably acted like eyes. It didn't move like a human would at all. It's hands and fingers were spinning and rearranging themselves every few seconds. It was slowly walking around the area looking at the civilians. No one seemed to be bothered by it. It was as if it wasn't there.

 

The officers yelled behind him.

 

"THIEF THIEF. STOP HIM!" As soon as those words exited the officers mouth the mechanical giant reacted spinning its huge frame a full 360 degrees to stare at Emile. It immediately sprung into action. It moved far faster than something of that size should be able to move. It hulked it's massive body with ease while producing even more steam than before. Its hand moving towards Emile like it was fired out of a cannon. Emile thought he would die at that moment. He thought the outstreched hand would crush him into mush but it didn't. Instead it grabbed him. Literally holding him in an iron grip.

 

He fell unconscious. He woke up in a cell. Emile didn't know how much time had passed but he remembered everything. After a few hours the same officer that had forced him in this mess opened the cell and pulled him into a large room where he had to stand in line with other homeless children. The officer had a huge smile on his face the entire time.

 

While he stood there he tried to talk with the girl infront of him in line. But the officer hit him before he could speak.

After some time he could see what was going on at the end of the line. There was a woman there in a cloak stamping papers. She would stamp a paper. Then the child infront of her would go through a door. The children that walked through that door were crying. Every single one.

Eventually it was his turn. 

 

"Name:Emile. Crime: Shoplifting. Living conditions: Homeless. Punishment: standard 1 year education at Greluft." The woman was fast and sounded uninterested and tired. She was just about to stamp the paper before Emile asked her what she was doing. She looked up him, she was annoyed.

"Punishment: 6 year elite training program at Greluft." She said and picked up another stamp and stamped his paper with it instead...

He pieced together what was happening while he started to walk towards the door. He, like everyone else. Was crying.

 

 

 

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