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Cruelty A TF2 Story Empty Cruelty A TF2 Story

Post  Undead Brad on Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:12 am

Missiles flew through the air, narrowly missing him as they collided with a building. The resulting explosion shook him and he saw bloody… things… cascading down to the ground. It was only when he saw the splinters of a bow that he realised that they were the remains of a Sniper – which team, he didn't care to know. Looking around as he ran he saw similar scenes of carnage and bloodshed all around him. He felt sick to his stomach. Seeing the corpse of his team's Pyro, a clean knife wound to his back, he realised that they weren't invincible. It was just a lie he'd been fed to make him join. That and the money. Of course they weren't actually going to pay everyone that much. It hurt, both that he'd been lied to and the realisation that if he did miraculously survive the chaos, the men he'd met only this morning wouldn't all be there when the ceasefire was called.

Dodging bullets and sticky bombs, he ducked into the water under the bridge. Spy had said he'd be safe from Snipers here when he briefed him on his role. As the fastest member of the team, his responsibility was to grab the intelligence – intel, the other had called it – from the other base and bring it back to theirs. Looking around, he spotted the pipes he'd been shown and darted into them. Every corner was so tight he had to slow down to avoid colliding with the sides. Luckily, he never met anyone going the other way. He saw several rooms as he passed, but none of them contained the briefcase that had been described to him so he ignored them. The lack of people surprised him, but he wasn't complaining. If he met an opponent it would be kill or be killed, and he wasn't used to the scattergun in his hand yet.

There! A briefcase, identical to the one at their own base save the colour. He darted into the room and was met with agonising pain. He cried out, retreating into the safety of the tunnels. Peaking back round the corner, he looked to see what had hurt him. There, beeping innocently in the corner was a sentry. Now that he thought about it, he'd been warned that the opposing Engineer would set one up there. It swivelled to face him again and he realised with dread that he'd been spotted. A spry of projectiles came towards him and fight or flight took over. He jumped above the bullets, then gained enough purchase on the air to jump again, spraying the machine with bullets from his scattergun, and when that ran out of ammo, his pistol. As he landed, he was greeted with the welcome sight of the sentry blowing up. Heart pumping, he grabbed the briefcase and darted out the way he had come, leaving a trail of blood behind him.

"We have captured the enemy intelligence," a female voice proclaimed – the Announcer – accompanying his dash to safety.

"Medic!" he screamed as he emerged, jumping out of the water and onto his side of the battlements, reloading his guns as he realised that the lack of enemies with the intel meant that they would all have been above ground. Then he saw his Medic's body on the ground, and knew that it was over unless he made it back to the locker room. Distracted as he was, he was too late to notice the opposing Heavy behind him until the minigun's bullets tore through him. He screamed and fell to the floor.

"We have dropped the intelligence," the Announcer's voice said. Detached. Uncaring that he was dying on his first day.

It wasn't even a slow death. He could feel himself bleeding out, bullets lodged in various parts of his body. It was agonizing. If he had the strength left, he would have pulled his pistol and shot himself. Anything to end it quickly. But it was not possible.

"Help," he sobbed. The only answer he received was the maniacal laughter of the opposing Soldier, before he was blown to bits. At least it sped up his death.

He lay there in the darkness. His body seemed to be putting itself back together. Is this what death is like, he wondered. The restoration of your soul to its optimum state? But surely if that was the case he wouldn't feel as nauseous as he did. Bending over, he retched as the darkness into white.

He was standing up, a solid floor beneath his feet and scattergun in hand. Blinking, he looked around to find himself back in the locker room. Medic was standing there, grinning at him.

"What are you vaiting for? Go back outside," the German said, before obeying his own words, medigun in hand. Scout took a moment to assess his condition – even his clothes were flawless! – and wonder what had happened before walking back to the battlements. He could see the briefcase where he had dropped it and adrenaline kicked in. He sprinted for it, scooping it up and dodging the sticky bombs lying in wait for him as he darted back into his base and towards the intel room. Unceremoniously dumping it on the floor, he vaguely heard the Announcer proclaim their victory before slumping down against the desk, tears springing from nowhere.

He had died – he was sure of it. So why was he still very much alive? How could he be alive when he'd been shoot and then blown into pieces. It defied everything and he couldn't make sense of it. He pulled his legs up to his chest and clasped his arms around it, sobbing due to the trauma that assaulted his brain. No-one should know what it was like at death's door. No-one living, anyway. And yet, here he was. It was too much for him to comprehend.

"Experienced respawn then?" a voice asked and he looked up to see his team's Engineer looking down at him with pity. "It's a shock, I know. They should tell recruits before they go into battle." The Texan sat next to him and, without asking for permission, put a hand around the boy's shaking shoulders. "It keeps us alive, though. Without it neither RED nor BLU would ever have a hope of winning." Scout didn't reply, although he did lean into the embrace with little persuasion. It didn't make sense. They couldn't be alive. What was respawn?

Engineer just held him as he cried, knowing that it was better out than in. If their newest recruit couldn't get over respawn then he'd be useless to the team. And terminated. It had happened before.

Eventually the boy looked up, eyes red and shining with streak marks down his face.

"Is it always that hard?" he asked quietly. Engineer shrugged.

"You get used to it with time, but it's never enjoyable."

"How can they expect us to die so many times and remember it? If they can bring us back to life, why can't they make us forget how we died?"

Engineer had no answer. He'd had the not-such-a-pleasure of meeting their employers in person and he knew that they cared for nothing beyond winning the war. But that was too much for the boy to handle right now. He'd work it out, anyway, once the shock of respawn had died. They all did. The cruelty of their employers was not hard to see and Engineer had seen the spark of intelligence in the boy's eyes. And courage. He'd survive this place, of that the older man was sure.

Eventually Scout was ready to present himself to the rest of his team, having survived his first mission with his sanity mostly intact. They were all waiting for him, even Pyro and Medic – the two whose bodies he had seen lying on the bridge with all their life drained. They were all assessing him, wondering how much of his sanity had survived, and if he wanted out. He met all their gazes with a challenging look before breaking into a cocky grin.

"So when do we get to whoop their asses next?"
Apparently nobody told Scout about respawn.
Undead Brad
Undead Brad

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