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 When The Sun Dies /One-Shot/

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Should I use Version 1 or Version 2? *Version 2 In-Progress*
Version 1 (Original and only edited for grammar)
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Version 2 (Edited plot and characterization)
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PostSubject: When The Sun Dies /One-Shot/   Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:21 am

When The Sun Dies

Please listen to this video once the final scene rolls around...you'll know when it happens. This is what I listened to while writing it. ;D

"No! For the last time, Romy, you will not be allowed to fight!"

Romy Beilschmidt stormed out of the canvas tent, murder painted clearly on her pale face. Her Brüder refused to let her fight, no matter how many times she tried to prove to them she was capable. Why? Why, dammit?!

She stamped her boots onto the ground with her arms crossed, nearly throwing a tantrum. Though some dark corner of her mind winced at her childish behavior, the rest of her was ready to throw herself onto the ground and scream curses at her Brüder.

A sigh escaped her lips as she angled her head down to stare at the dirt. Further proof of her regained control was shown when her arms uncrossed and dangled limply at her sides.

Sure, Ludwig was to be expected. He was her twin brother; her other half. They did everything together...Except fight. He never let her fight! Gilbert, on the other hand...She hadn't expected his face to harden like that, or his eyes to grow steely as he gave her a short glare. What the heck?! Usually, he let her get away with pretty much anything, and as a sort of thanks, she kept what she did do toned down.

How was this any different?

Romy's scowl darkened. This wasn't the Middle Ages! A woman could fight just as well as any man!
Well, that's it! She decided, stomping away from the tent. Everyone who crossed her path was swift to dart out of the way, fearing the near-homocidal look in her ice-chipped blue eyes. I'll show them I can fight...I'll show them I can be useful, too!

Her mind made up, Romy made her way to her own tent, gathering her few personal belongings and the well-polished M-16 assault rifle she kept on her person most of the time. Brüder be damned, she was going to join the front line.

Watch out, WWIII. I'll show those bastards just what an angry nation-representative is capable of.

"Mein Gott," Ludwig Beilschmidt groaned, resting his head in his palms as yet another series of knocks sounded at the door of his office. Couldn't they leave him alone for more than five minutes? He was already feeling the beginnings of a migraine from the stacks of paperwork he'd been sifting through. "Come in!" he finally shouted, tired of the incessant pounding.

However, even when the knocking had stopped and a nervous-looking soldier had walked in, the
pounding persisted. Prima. "What is it?"

"I-I bring news, f-from the battlefront...," the soldier stammered nervously. Ludwig's cold blue eyes narrowed as he regarded the man. Really, where else did news come from these days? Another sigh escaped his lips, and opted to shut his eyes in hopes of diverting the headache.

"Yeeees?" he drawled. The soldier (probably another pitiful Italian) jumped at the sound of his voice. Fortunately, this seemed to awaken him from his nervous stupor; his spine straightened considerably and he gave Ludwig a firm salute.

"Sir, it would appear that a woman has appeared on the front, sir." A woman? Psh. Women weren't allowed to fight on the front..."We're not sure which side she's fighting on, but she is apparently fearsome in combat..." His words trailed off, uncertainty clouding his face.

"Well, that's either a very good thing or a very bad thing, but I'm sure that isn't all you came here to tell me...?" Ludwig guessed, perking up a bit. Despite its unusual (and rather gossip-like) nature, news of a female combatant intriuged him. How had she managed to make it into the infantry? A disguise, perhaps?

The soldier (had he mentioned a name?) frowned, the fingers of his right hand tugging slightly at the hem of his uniform. "Other women have followed her example, sir. And, um, our superiors were wondering if..." He was nervous yet again, reverting back to his timid way of speaking. "They wanted you to, erm, fix that. Somehow." His teeth were nearly tearing through the skin of his lower lip.

"They, uh, wanted you to stop the original, er, Sun...Warrior."

Ludwig was generally a stoic man. His face rarely reflected much emotion, particularly during times of war. Nevertheless, he found the corners of his mouth tugging upwards into a sort of smirk. A tiny chuckle made its way past his tightly closed lips. "O-of course," he replied, struggling to compose himself, "I'll get to it immediately. You are dismissed."

With another short salute, the man turned on his heel and exited the room, dark hair bouncing slightly as he walked. Definitely Italian.

"Sun Warrior", eh? Ludwig mused, drumming his fingers against the mahogany desk. It sounded like an easy enough task; how hard could it be to take down a mere woman? A frown formed on his face as a thought crossed his mind. His twin sister, Romy, had always proven herself to be a formidable opponent when they had sparred...Perhaps this "Sun Warrior" (Really, how did they come up with such a ridiculous name?) would be difficult to defeat as well.

Paperwork forgotten, Ludwig stood abruptly, his chair scraping loudly against the floor. Just as he slung his jacket over his shoulder and reached for the pistol he still kept in the drawer of his desk, the phone began to ring. He stared at it for a moment, conflicted. His migraine had all but vanished, and it wasn't right to ignore work...but orders were orders, and this "mission" was apparently a priority...

Before he could change his mind, he snatched up the phone and held it against his ear, muttering a quick, "Hello?"

"West! Gott, am I glad I finally got ahold of you!" Pr-Gilbert? Ludwig held the phone away from his ear, wondering why his Bruder was shouting so loud, and why his voice sounded oddly desperate.

"What is it, Gilbert?" he inquired, though it was rather pointless to ask; Gilbert would tell him anyway, and at an almost inhuman speed.

However, there was a pause on the other end of the line. Ludwig felt his concern steadily growing, Gilbert was never quiet. Usually, it took a gargantuan effort to get him to shut up. The now-worried German shifted his weight to rest against the desk. "Gilbert?"

"Have you seen North anywhere lately?!" Well, that was certainly the last question Ludwig was expecting.

"No, why do you--"

"Dammit!" the Prussian cursed, not allowing Ludwig to finish his question. He stood a tad straighter, his irritation with his Bruder growing. What exactly was going on? "She's gone, West. North...Romy hasn't been seen at any of our bases for a couple weeks now." Gilbert paused again, hating the words he had to say aloud. "She's probably on the front as we speak, thanks to that bedamned Sun Goddess or whatever."

For the first time in many years, Ludwig felt his knees weaken beneath him, threatening to topple him over. Romy...fighting in that horrible war? He'd seen the conditions firsthand, and, if possible, they were even worse than they'd been during the last war of this scale.

The phone fell out of his hands, crashing loudly against the desk as Gilbert shouted at him from the other end. He paid his Bruder no mind, instead choosing to grab his weapon and dash out of the building.

Perhaps Ludwig didn't have America's hero complex, but that didn't stop him from wanting to save his sister.

War was harsh on Romy. She'd thought it would be just like training; exchanging blows in an organized pattern to defeat the enemy. War proved her dead wrong. It was more like an organized chaos that followed only one rule: kill or be killed. Every shadow had her gun at the ready. Every twitch of movement, real or no, had her firing off several rounds. Somewhere along the line, she'd overestimated the number of clips she was carrying, and had to drop her gun in exchange for that of a dead body. A dead, enemy body. The irony of how both sides killed one another with each other's weapons wasn't lost on her.

The fighting was ridiculous, really. They'd gain a couple feet of ground, maybe clear a house, then the enemy would storm in and take it all back. And Scheiße, it was just so frustrating, seeing her comrades fall, entrusting the rest to her, only to have her fail in the end.

Maybe they were right,
she thought to herself as she fired off another round, blue eyes clouded with a mixture of sadness and anxiety. Maybe women don't belong out here...

From the get-go, training had been rough on her. She was tough, tougher than most women, but
that didn't magically make her used to hard, gritty training. Unlike the other soldiers, she didn't have all the time in the world, either; she only had one week to finish training. One week until her Brüder got suspicious. One week until she would have to be ready for war.

As if. She hadn't been ready, and she wasn't ready now; if anything, she wanted out. That didn't matter to them, though; those assholes would hold her to that bedamned contract for as long as they could.

Bombs crashed around her, temporarily disabling her hearing and filling her vision with bright, blinding red: the red of the fire, the red of the blood spilt, and the red of the sun setting on the horizon. For a single moment, she paused to stare at the sun, absorbing the vibrant colors like she was afraid she'd never see them again. There, of course, that was entirely possible.

The shouting was barely audible at first; she'd just narrowly evaded getting run through by grenade shrapnel, and some of the cheery Aussies in her unit hadn't been so lucky. No time for grieving, keep moving, keep moving...! Then the shouting grew louder and more frequent as it drew closer, garnering her attention. A mixture of irritation and panic flooded through her as the shouts became easier to understand.

"NORTH! YOO-HOO, NORTHYKINS, WHERE DIDJA GO? NOOOORTH?" Gilbert. Of course, she couldn't have been discovered by her more sensible sibling, it just had to be her incompetent older Bruder (well, older older Bruder). Carefully evading bodies and flying bullets alike, she made her way over to where he stood, yelling like a complete fool. Really, who yelled in the middle of a battlefield? Orders had to be given, certainly, but Gilbert was essentially painting a metaphorical target on his messy silver head.

"Shut up, Bruder," she hissed, smacking him on the head with the butt of her AK. His crimson eyes brightened at the sight of her, and he promptly threw his arms around her enthusiastically.
"Romy! Thank Gott, the awesome me was sooo worried! You made West worried too, but my worry is more awesome so you should worry about it more!" he pouted, as if his words made any sense at all.

Romy smacked him again (this time with her hand) for good measure. "That's what you get for not allowing me to fight, East! In all fairness, though, I did give you several warnings," she added, refusing to give in to his oddly endearing puppy-dog eyes.
"Aww, but I--"

"ROMY!! Romy, thank Gott, I finally found you!" Ludwig exclaimed, skidding to a halt in front of the pair. His normally slicked hair had fallen sloppily into his face and his uniform wasn't on quite right; in his disarray, he looked even more like Romy than usual. "What were you thinking, coming here?!"

That was where Romy drew the line. She did not want to listen to his stubborn lecturing, particularly not while she was fighting for her life on the battlefield. But before she could open her mouth to protest, the Lieutenant began to shout orders at her unit, saying street had been cleared and they were to move further up.

With a hesitant salute, she left her brothers to themselves, starting after her comrades. Already, she'd fallen behind, and it wasn't safe to be left alone out there.

Gilbert elbowed his Bruder in his ribcage, the corners of his mouth turned downwards in a frown. Ludwig was about to snap at him, but the unusually serious expression on Gilbert's face stopped him. Very rare was it to find the "awesome" albino exerting actual mental power on anything other than videogames.

"What is it?" he asked reluctantly, watching his Bruder stare in the direction their sister had gone with that same pensive frown on his face. The silence was steadily becoming unbearable as Gilbert stubbornly refused to answer him.

Tension only built further when the silver-haired man slowly walked over to a corpse, staring down at it as if his dull red eyes could unveil the soul that had escaped it.

When he finally spoke, Ludwig found himself wishing the man had stayed silent; as eerie as it was to watch his Bruder stare at a dead man, the words were not those he had wished to hear.

"Why do you do it, West?" Gilbert's silver head turned, and his frightening gaze locked onto Ludwig.
"You know what war is like, and yet, you act as though Romy is simply a child who has disobeyed you." Ludwig flinched, knowing this to be true. Perhaps he had overreacted, just a tiny bit... "She has fought for your country, but you treat her sacrifice like a burden. Why, West? Why won't you let her--or the others, for that matter--fight?"

Ludwig was tempted to say, 'Because that is what my leader wants', but he knew Gilbert wouldn't react well to that. Truth be told, he himself was a bit disgusted with the way he always followed rules to the letter. It had cost him so many things in life, and now, it could cost him the bond he had with his twin sister.

How could he let that happen? They were twins, for Gott's sake. Their bond ran far deeper than flesh and blood; their very souls were connected. Even he and Gilbert didn't have a bond quite as strong.

Could he really let that all go and start a feud with his beloved sister because his boss told him to?

Gilbert clapped him on the shoulder, his visage softening once he realized the turmoil his little Bruder was feeling. "It'll be alright, West. You know what to do."

Yeah...maybe he did.

The intel they'd gotten was wrong; the next area was not almost cleared, not even close. Of course, it hadn't been the source's fault; how were they supposed to anticipate the classic underground bunker technique? No, they'd only forgotten that in the last couple of battles, too.

Romy sighed, wondering to herself if there were any competent men back at intelligence. Weren't they supposed to be, you know, intelligent? That was why the army needed more women, she supposed. Men just couldn't handle the basics on their own.

Another spray of bullets against the wall she was hiding behind reminded her of the situation at hand. According to her orders, she was supposed to be clearing the main room, then blowing the whole bunker to smithereens. It was a simple task, but important nonetheless. They couldn't have the opposition regaining the bunker after they cleared it.

Still, it wasn't an easy thing to accomplish without backup; the bullet in her shoulder was proof of that. She desperately wanted to get the Darn thing out, but that was neither the time nor the place to be pulling bullets out of her damaged flesh.

Romy considered herself lucky they hadn't given up on trying to shoot at her and thrown a grenade her way, though that was probably either because they'd run out or they didn't want to destroy the interior structure of the bunker. Then again, they could simply be waiting for her to show her face, and if that was the case, she'd have to act faster than they could anticipate her.

Hefting her "borrowed" AK-47 against her shoulder and praying for the best, Romy made a mad dash into the room, shooting with little aim other than to take down as many as possible before they realized what was going. Fortunately, this was a strategy that worked quite well for her. There were actually very few men in the room, and her relatively random bouts of firing had managed to strike them dead with little effort on her part. Although the easy win did strike her as a tad suspicious, she thought little of it as she set the charges and snatched a few more clips off of the corpses; it never hurt to have extra ammo in case of emergencies.

However, the moment she exited the room, the tiny prick of suspicion she'd shoved into the back of her mind exploded with such force, every muscle in her body froze.

Then the room behind her literally exploded, the charges going off far earlier than she'd set them for.
As she broke into an ungraceful run, attempting to escape the fire before it reached her, only one thought made its way to the forefront of her mind. I hope Ludwig isn't angry with me for this...

Something was wrong, wrong, so very, horribly wrong, Ludwig could feel it. In fact, the feeling reminded him of the time his sister had fallen out of a tree when they were younger: gutwrenching fear combined with something oddly hollow. Like a piece of him was missing, leaving a gaping hole in his chest. He spent nearly an entire minute clutching at the front of his uniform, attempting to reassure himself that his chest was intact.

The feeling refused to leave; if anything, it grew stronger, until it was such a wretched pain, Ludwig wished he could tear his heart out and stomp the feeling out of it.

He was forced out of his silent misery when Gilbert skidded to a halt just behind him, teetering precariously for a moment before his balance finally abandoned him and he crashed into Ludwig's back, sending them both sprawling onto the ground. "Jeez, West, I know yer' excited, but ya' didn't have to--"

Gilbert paused, shocked into silence by the agonized expression on his bruder's face. "Wh-wha...Are you injured?! What happened?! If it was those Commie bastards, I swear I'll--"

"R-Romy..." The murmured name was faint, almost entirely silent, but Gilbert managed to catch it nonetheless. He knew enough about supposed "twin telepathy" to be immediately concerned, and seeing as Ludwig wasn't moving on his own any time soon, Gilbert took it upon himself to get to the bottom of what had happened to their sister.

Grabbing his Bruder by the hand, he dragged him forward at a break-neck speed, heading in the general direction their sister's unit had gone.

The sight that greeted him was far from what he'd been expecting. Instead of some gruesome battle scene, or a hopeless stand-off, there was only fire. A single building, engulfed in raging flames...with a bloodied body collapsed in its doorway.

Ludwig fell onto his knees, the pain in his eyes difficult to look at. Once again, Gilbert had to take him by the arms, easing his broken Bruder to the place where Romy lay, her body covered in charred skin, ridden with wounds of every variety. Gilbert so badly wanted to collapse into himself, and draw away from the rest of the world, but the pain was too fresh, too piercing for him to simply ignore it.

"Bitte...Bitte...Don't let it be true...She can't be...!" Fresh saltwater trickled down his deathly pale cheeks until it could be tasted as he inhaled, first sobbing, then screaming. Why...? Was there a "why"? Was there ever a "why"?

His hands were clenched into fists at his side, fingernails digging in and drawing blood. As it slowly dripped from his palms onto the ground, his rage grew. There was a "why". Why her? Why his little sister? Why was she the one lying motionless on the ground because they'd been too stupid to realize how serious she was?

"VERDAMMT! WHY,"he slammed his fist into the ground, "DID-THIS-FREAKING-HAPPEN?!" Each word he shouted was punctuated by more furious punches, until his knuckles were bruised and bloodied.

Pointless...It's pointless, he realized, his scarlet eyes widening drastically. Anger forgotten, Gilbert found himself lying on the ground, staring up at the sky, which was still a fairly light blue, as the sun set behind him. I give up...

It was Ludwig's turn to be strong, but he didn't want to be. He wanted to leave, to pretend this had never happened. To pretend his sister was still alive, and her death wasn't his fault.

When her blue eyes shot open, still clouded with pain despite the deep nerve damage her burns had provided, Ludwig nearly leapt several feet into the air. Hope so poignant it was painful coursed through his system, and he instantly shot it back down. But...his sister was a nation, wasn't she? Something as small as bodily injuries couldn't kill a nation...right?

"D-Dummkopf...You are t-too easy to read, Bruder...Like an open-augh-book," she wheezed, offering him a smile that came out as more of a grimace. "I am not a nation. I am part of a nation...and that nation it you." Though her voice had gained a bit more strength, it was clear her shaking body hadn't.

"Romy, I..." Ludwig paused, his brow furrowed. He had so much to tell her, yet he didn't know what to say. She gave him that same pained grin, encouraging him to go on. "I am...so sorry. This is...This is all m-my fault...," he whispered, biting his lip as tears began to streak down his dirtied face. "If only I hadn't...If only I hadn't--!"

Finally giving up on words, Ludwig hunched over himself, hugging his knees tightly to his chest as hopeless sobs racked his body. A light, feathery touch to his cheek redirected his attention towards his swiftly deteriorating sister.

"This is...no one's fault, Ludwig. I chose this...for myself, and...I do not regret it. I chose to fight, for our country, and for our people...I do not regret any of it, and...you should not, either...Ich liebe dich, mein Brüder..."

Life is so short, so fragile, and so very fleeting. Hearts can shatter, minds can break, bodies can wither away, all so easily...

The screams of one nation, torn into three and ending with two, easily held testimony to that, as did the scarlet rays of the setting sun, bidding farewell to its fallen warrior.

~Okay, this takes place around WW3. I figure Germany will FINALLY be on our side this time...And this is also more or less my take on the whole women joining the front lines debate. If a woman wants to fight for her country, she should be allowed that right.~
~This is more or less a test run...so, jus' give me yer' honest opinion, blunt as it may be. I spent much-needed sleep time completing this.~
Mein Gott - My God
Prima - fantastic, terrific
Bruder - brother (it's capitalized throughout because in German, nouns are always capitalized)
Brüder - brothers
Ich liebe dich - I love you
Dummkopf - fool
Bitte - please
Verdammt - ...Angry cursing.
*Note: I did not want to poison any young minds, but Gilbert doesn't actually say "freaking" in the original. His reaction is sliiightly more severe than that, considering how serious the situation is and his age.
Er...should I change all of the sisters to "Schwester", since all of the brothers are "Brüder"? XD And I think it'd make more sense if Romy were a city, like Berlin or Munich or something.

Life is like thunder; powerful, confusing, wonderous, loud, inexplainable, sudden, beautiful in ways you can't even begin to describe, and completely unexpected. Death is like lightning; it strikes even the most powerful things, and shoots through the ground to everyone nearby, leaving them with only a painful aftershock.

Almost dying changes nothing. Dying changes everything.

Cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it.

Last edited by Tobi-chan on Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:31 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Er...So, my German's a lot better than it once was...XD)
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PostSubject: Re: When The Sun Dies /One-Shot/   Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:00 am

D'aww. This lil' story is just sitting here collecting dust...I wanted some feedback before I posted it elsewhere...But an'way! So far, the only "Version 2" part of this is that I went back and edited Gilbert's reaction, because I don't feel that was within his character. I felt he'd be more angry, and not just become "catatonic", so I changed things up a tad. GO BACK AND READ IT. XD It's important.

ALSO. I was just wondering (this was the main reason for a planned "Version 2") if anyone thought the "Sun Warrior" thing was too unresolved. I feel that the last bits pretty much tied it up, but did anyone want a more direct confrontation?

~I'd just really like to feel that this is complete, so I can move on to other pieces.~

Life is like thunder; powerful, confusing, wonderous, loud, inexplainable, sudden, beautiful in ways you can't even begin to describe, and completely unexpected. Death is like lightning; it strikes even the most powerful things, and shoots through the ground to everyone nearby, leaving them with only a painful aftershock.

Almost dying changes nothing. Dying changes everything.

Cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it.
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